By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A corner in corn; or How a Chicago boy did the trick: Fame and Fortune Weekly, No. 3, October 20, 1905
Author: Self-made man
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A corner in corn; or How a Chicago boy did the trick: Fame and Fortune Weekly, No. 3, October 20, 1905" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


 Fame and Fortune Weekly


_Issued Weekly--By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered according to
Act of Congress, in the year 1905, in the office of the Librarian of
Congress, Washington, D. C., by Frank Tousey, Publisher, 24 Union
Square, New York._

 =No. 3=      OCTOBER 20, 1905.      =Price 5 Cents=

 A Corner in Corn;




“Has Vance returned yet?” asked Jared Whitemore, a stout,
florid-complexioned man of sixty-five, opening the door of his private
office and glancing into the outside room.

“No, sir,” replied Edgar Vyce, his bookkeeper and office manager--a
tall, saturnine-looking man, who had been in his employ several years.

“Send him in as soon as he comes back.”

The bookkeeper nodded carelessly and resumed his writing.

“Miss Brown,” said Jared to his stenographer and typewriter, a very
pretty brown-eyed girl of seventeen, the only other occupant of the
room, whose desk stood close to one of the windows overlooking La Salle

She immediately left her machine and followed her employer into the
inner sanctum.

Mr. Whitemore was a well-known speculator, one of the shrewdest and
most successful operators on the Chicago Board of Trade.

He owned some of the best business sites in the city, and his ground
rents brought him in many thousands a year.

Accounted a millionaire many times over, no one could with any degree
of certainty say exactly what he was worth.

His plainly furnished office was on an upper floor of the Rookery

He did business for nobody but himself. Jarboe, Willicutt & Co., whose
offices were on the ground floor of the Board of Trade Building, were
his brokers.

The office clock chimed the hour of five as the bookkeeper, with a
frown, laid down his pen, rested his elbow on the corner of his tall
desk and glanced down into the busy thoroughfare.

At that moment the office door opened and a messenger boy entered.

Mr. Vyce came to the railing and received an envelope addressed to

He signed for it, tore it open, read the contents, which were brief,
with a corrugated brow, and then, with much deliberation, tore the
paper into fine particles and tossed them into the waste-basket.

For a moment or two he paced up and down before his desk, with his
hands thrust into his trousers pockets, and then resumed his work
just as the door opened again and admitted a stalwart, good-looking
lad, with a frank, alert countenance and a breezy manner, who entered
briskly with a handful of pamphlets and papers.

“Mr. Whitemore wants you to report in his office at once, Thornton,”
said the bookkeeper, in a surly kind of voice, accompanied with a look
which plainly showed that he was not particularly well disposed toward
the boy.

“All right,” answered Vance, cheerily, turning toward the private
office, on the door of which he knocked, and then entered on being told
to come in.

“I hate him!” muttered Mr. Vyce, following the boy’s retreating figure
with a dark scowl. “He’s a thorn in my path. He’s altogether too thick
with Whitemore. I can’t understand what the old man sees in him. For
the last three months I’ve noticed that my hold here is slipping away,
and just when I need it the most. Just when things were coming my
way, too. Now, with a fortune in sight, this boy is crowding me to
the wall. Curse him! I can’t understand what it means. Is it possible
Whitemore suspects me? Pshaw! Am I not an old and trusted employee?
I’ve always been in his confidence to a large extent, but of late he
has been keeping things from me--matters I ought to know--especially in
reference to this deal he has on. Those corn options are on the point
of expiring, and I expected ere this to have been sent West to settle
with the elevator people and get the receipts, for corn is on the rise
and the old man is ahead at this stage of the game. I strongly suspect
he means to corner the market this time. He’s got the dust to attempt
it with, and already he holds options on nearly half of the visible
supply in Kansas and Nebraska, besides what he has stored here. There
is no telling what he has been doing during the last thirty days, as
not a word about corn has passed between us during that time. It’s not
like Whitemore to act this way with me. Something is up, and by George!
I’ll find out what it is.”

Mr. Vyce drove his pen savagely into a little glass receptacle filled
with small shot and turned to the window again, after glancing at the

Bessie Brown came out of the inner office with her notebook in her hand
and sat down at her machine to transcribe her notes.

In a few moments Mr. Vyce came over to her desk and, taking up his
station where he could catch a glance of what she was writing, remarked:

“Are you working overtime to-night, Miss Brown?”

“Excuse me, Mr. Vyce,” she said, covering the paper with her hands,
“this is strictly confidential.”

“I beg your pardon,” he said, between his teeth, altering his position.
“But you haven’t answered my question.”

“I expect to be busy until six,” she replied, without looking at him.

“I have tickets for McVickar’s,” he continued. “Would you honor me with
your company there this evening? It is not necessary that you return
home to dress. We can dine at Palmer’s.”

“You must excuse me,” she replied, with a heightened color, “but I
never go anywhere without my mother’s knowledge and permission.”

“But you went to the Auditorium two weeks ago with Thornton,” he said,
in a tone of chagrin.

“Mr. Thornton asked mamma if I could go, and she consented.”

“You never invited me to call at your home, so I could become
acquainted with your mother,” persisted Mr. Vyce, who was evidently
jealous of the intimacy which existed between Vance and the young lady.

Bessie said nothing to this, but applied herself more attentively to
her work.

“Aren’t you going to extend that privilege to me, Miss Brown?” he
continued, fondling his heavy black mustache.

“Mr. Vyce, I am very busy just now,” she replied, with some

The bookkeeper gave her a savage glance and then walked away without
another word.

Much to her relief, he soon put on his hat and left the office
abruptly, shutting the door with a slam.

At the same moment Vance came out of the private office and stepped up
beside the pretty typewriter.

She looked up with a smile and did not offer to hide from his gaze the
long typewritten letter on which she was engaged.

Evidently there was nothing there Vance ought not to know.

“Will you please turn on the light, Vance?” she asked, sweetly, her
fingers never leaving the keys for a moment.

“Certainly, Bessie,” he replied, with alacrity, raising his hand to the
shaded electric bulb above her machine and turning the key, whereupon
the slender wires burst into a white glow. “How much more have you to

“Another page, almost,” she answered, with another quick glance into
his bright, eager young face.

“I won’t be able to see you to the car to-night,” he said, regretfully.

That was a pleasure the young man had for some time appropriated to
himself and Bessie as willingly accorded.

“You are going to stay downtown, then, for a while?” she asked.

“Yes; I shall be here for an hour yet, perhaps. After supper I’ve got
to meet Mr. Whitemore in his rooms at the Grand Pacific. I’ve got to
notify mother of the fact by telephone.”

Vance went over to the booth in the corner of the office and rang up a
drug store in the vicinity of his home, on the North Side.

Outside the shades of night were beginning to fall.

From the windows of the office one could see directly up La Salle

The cars, as they made the turn into or out of the street at the corner
of Monroe, flashed their momentary glares of red and green lights, and
filled the air continually with the jangle of their bells.

The sidewalks were filled with a dense crowd that poured out
continually from the street entrances of the office buildings.

They streamed out of the brokers’ offices and commission houses on
either side of La Salle Street, and the tide set toward the upper end
of the thoroughfare, where stood the girders and cables of the La Salle
Street bridge.

Vance took all this in with a brief survey from the window, after he
had sent his message across the river.

“What do you think?” said Bessie, as he paused once more beside her.
“Mr. Vyce asked me to go to the theatre with him to-night. Hasn’t he a

“Of course you accepted?” said Vance with a grin.

“Of course I did no such thing,” she answered, pausing for an instant
in her work, as she looked up with an indignant flush on her creamy
cheeks. “You know better than that, Vance. You just want to provoke
me,” with a charming pout.

“That’s right,” he answered, with a quiet chuckle, “but you mustn’t
mind me.”

She smiled her forgiveness and went on with her work.

“There, that’s done,” she said, in a few moments, pushing back her
chair. “I hope I haven’t made any mistakes,” as she rose to take the
sheets into the inner office.

“No fear of that, I guess,” said the boy, encouragingly. “You’re about
as accurate as they come, Bessie.”

She paused on the threshold of the door to flash him back a look of
appreciation for the compliment and then disappeared within.

Presently she returned and started to put on her things.

“It looks a little bit like rain, doesn’t it?” she asked, glancing at
the darkened sky, where not a star was visible.

“You can have my umbrella, if you wish,” Vance offered, “but I guess it
won’t rain yet awhile.”

“Never mind; I’ll chance it. Good night, Vance.”

“Good night, Bessie,” and the outside door closed behind her.

Vance returned to his desk and proceeded to make copious extracts from
a pile of pamphlets and reports he had taken from a closet.

In half an hour Mr. Whitemore came out of his sanctum with his hat on.

“You’d better go to supper now, Vance. Meet me promptly at eight
o’clock at my rooms,” he said, “and bring everything with you.”

“Yes, sir.”

Mr. Whitemore left, and the lad, making a bundle of his notes and such
papers as he knew were wanted by his employer, turned out the electric
lights and locked up the office.

He didn’t know it then, but this was the last time for many days he was
to see the inside of the Rookery Building.

Nor did he dream of the tragedy that awaited his return to the office.



Vance went to a Clark Street restaurant and had supper.

It was all right, but the boy did not enjoy it as much as he would have
done at home.

The Thorntons lived in a small house, one of a row, on the North Side,
which Mrs. Thornton owned.

They had once been wealthy, for Mr. Thornton had at one time been a
successful member of the Chicago Board of Trade.

But a few months before his death, which had occurred ten years
previously, he had been caught in a short deal and squeezed.

He extricated himself at the cost of his entire fortune.

Everything was swept away except the one little house, the property
of Mrs. Thornton, to which the family immediately moved, and a few
thousand dollars banked in the wife’s name.

After Mr. Thornton’s death the widow devoted herself to her children,
and when Vance graduated from the public school, she made application
to Mr. Whitemore, with whom her husband had had business relations, for
a position for her son in his office.

The application being made at a lucky moment, the lad was taken on, and
had in every way proved himself worthy of Jared Whitemore’s confidence.

Promptly at eight o’clock Vance was shown up to Mr. Whitemore’s rooms
in the Grand Pacific Hotel.

The corn operator was in his sitting-room before a table that was
scattered over with papers and telegraph blanks.

It was a cool evening, but Jared Whitemore was in his shirt sleeves,
and, although the windows were down at the top, his face was red and he
was perspiring furiously.

A half-smoked cigar projected between his lips, and several discarded
stumps lay on a lacquer tray that held one of the hotel pitchers of ice

“You have the government report on the visible supply in that bundle,
have you?” asked Jared Whitemore, as soon as he became aware of the
boy’s presence in the room.

“Yes, sir.”

“Let me have it,” with an impatient gesture.

Vance had it before his employer in a twinkling.

“Your notes, please,” said the operator, after he had studied the
report for several minutes.

The boy laid them before him.

“Put the pamphlets down there. Now, take the evening paper and go over
there by the window and sit down.”

Vance did so, and there was perfect silence in the room for the next
half hour, when it was broken by a knock on the door.

“See who that is,” almost snapped Whitemore, jerking his thumb in the
direction of the entrance.

Vance found a telegraph boy outside, signed for the yellow envelope and
brought it to his employer.

Two more dispatches arrived before the little marble clock on the
mantel chimed the hour of nine.

Another half hour of almost perfect silence ensued, during which two
more cigar stumps were added to the collection on the dish; and Vance
was beginning to wonder why he was being held there by Mr. Whitemore,
when the operator rose from his seat, mopped his forehead with his
familiar bandana handkerchief and then sat down again.


“Yes, sir,” answered the boy, springing up.

“Come here.”

The tones were short, sharp and incisive.

“Sit down here alongside of me.”

Vance obeyed this order with military promptness.

“When can you start for Omaha?”

“Sir!” said the boy, almost speechless from amazement.

“I asked you when you could leave for Omaha?” repeated the operator,

“By the eight o’clock train in the morning, if you particularly wish
it,” answered the astonished lad.

“Very well; make your arrangements to that effect. Now, Vance, I want
to speak to you. Heretofore I have always closed my dealings with the
elevator people through Mr. Vyce. For reasons which I need not discuss
with you I am going to send you to do the business for me this time.”

The boy’s eyes expanded to the size of saucers at this information.

It simply meant a most remarkable expression of confidence on Mr.
Whitemore’s part in his youthful office assistant.

Confidence not only in the boy’s business sagacity, but even more so in
his integrity, for he would be obliged to handle checks signed in blank
for a very large sum of money; just how large would, of course, depend
on the amount of corn the options covered.

That it ran into several millions of bushels the lad already knew.

“I am taking this unusual course,” continued Mr. Whitemore, lighting
a fresh cigar and regarding Vance keenly, “for several reasons. To
begin with, since I started this deal I have in hand I have met with
opposition from a most unexpected quarter. It could only have developed
through information furnished by some one who had an insight to my
plans. In order to test the accuracy of my suspicions in a certain
direction I cut off all information from that quarter. The result
has been confusion in the ranks of the opposition. I’m, therefore,
convinced I can at any time put my finger on the traitor to my
interests. To continue the further development of my scheme, I have
decided to substitute you for Mr. Vyce, so far as the settlement of
my Western corn options are concerned. During the last five or six
weeks you have probably noticed that I have employed you on business
of a confidential nature. This was to test you for the purpose I had
in view. On one occasion I so arranged matters that you were forced to
retain in your possession over Sunday a very large sum of money. I had
no doubts as to your honesty, but I wished to see how you would proceed
under the responsibility. The result was perfectly satisfactory to me.
Vance, I knew your father well. We had many business dealings, and I
found him a man on whom I could implicitly rely. I believe you are his

“Thank you, sir,” said Vance, gratefully, as Mr. Whitemore paused for a

“Now to business. Here is a power of attorney, which will give you all
the necessary authority to represent me on this Western trip. Here are
your general instructions,” and he handed Vance the two typewritten
pages Bessie Brown had executed just before she left the office for the

“You will go to Omaha first, thence to Kansas City, and so on. Here
are letters of introduction addressed to the elevator firms. Some of
them are personally acquainted with me. These are the vouchers for the
options. You will insist on all settlements at the figures given in
the options, which, as you will see, are below the market quotations.
Now, as to the payments of the balances, here is a small check-book of
the Chicago National Bank. I have made out and signed sixteen checks
in blank, one of each payable to the order of the elevator firm; all
you will have to do is to fill in the amount after the difference has
been computed. Immediately after each settlement you will mail me
by registered letter, care of the Chicago National Bank, the firm’s
receipt for the amount of money represented by the check, together with
the warehouse receipt. Now, read your instructions over carefully, and
if there is anything you have to suggest, I will listen to you.”

Vance went over the two-page letter and found that it covered every
emergency, so far as he could see.

The boy was especially directed to visit certain out-of-the-way places,
where elevators, reported as disused or empty, were known to exist, and
to ascertain by every artifice in his power whether any corn had been
received there for storage during the past three months. This was one
of the most important objects of his journey.

“Here are a couple of hundred dollars to cover incidental expenses,”
said Mr. Whitemore, handing Vance a roll of bills. “I hardly need to
tell you that I am reposing an almost unlimited confidence in your
honor and business sagacity--a somewhat unusual thing to do with one so
young as you. But I am rarely mistaken in my estimate of character, and
I feel satisfied you will fill the bill to the letter. I may say right
here that you have studied the corn market to advantage. Such details
as I have asked you to look into for me you have gone over and reduced
to practical results with astonishing clearness and dispatch for one
of your years and limited experience with Board of Trade methods. You
seem to be a born speculator, like your father. I have long wished to
associate with me a young man of nerve and accurate foresight in whom
I could thoroughly depend. You appear to combine all the qualities in
question. On this trip you are bound to acquire knowledge of the most
confidential nature--information that could not but seriously embarrass
me if it became known to my business opponents. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir,” said Vance, with a serious face.

“You see how much I depend on your loyalty?”

“You need have no fear but I will fulfil your trust down to the
smallest degree,” answered Vance, earnestly.

“I am sure of it, Vance. The proof of the pudding is that I am sending
you West on this business. One thing your age, and, I hope, your wit
and cautiousness, are particularly adapted to, and that is acquiring
the information about the possible contents of those elevators reported
to be empty. On the thoroughness of your report as regards these
properties will depend one of my most important moves on the corn

“I will find out the truth, if that be within the bounds of

“Now, Vance, another thing. Your mother will naturally want to know
where you are going, but it will be necessary for you to withhold
that information, for I have an idea that as soon as your absence is
noted at the office she will be approached on the subject by some one
interested in tracing your movements. You will simply tell her you are
going out of town on business for me and will be back in a few days.
Do not write to any one in Chicago, not even your folks, while you are
away. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Should you find it necessary to communicate with me at any time, call
up Mr. Walcott, of the Chicago National Bank, on the long-distance
telephone, and he will send for me.”

“Very well, sir.”

“I believe there is nothing further, so I will say good
bye till I see you at the office after your

“Good-bye, sir.”

Vance took up his hat, after carefully putting all the papers and the
check-book of the Chicago National Bank in an inside pocket of his
coat, and left the hotel.

When he reached home an hour later he duly astonished his mother and
sister with the information that he was going out of town on business
for his employer.

Of course the first thing they wanted to know was his destination.

“I am sorry, mother, I can’t tell you. Where I am going, as well as the
object of the trip, is a business secret.”

“But we ought to know, Vance,” expostulated his pretty sister Elsie.
“Unless you tell us we shall be worried to death about you.”

“Sorry, sis,” he replied, taking her face in his two hands and kissing
her cherry-red, pouting lips; “but I am under strict orders not to say
a word about it.”

“It’s real mean of you. You know neither mamma nor I would say a word
if you told us not to,” she persisted, throwing her arms about his neck

“Don’t blame me, Elsie--blame the boss. Let me tell you one thing,
dear. I feel sure this trip is the chance of my life. Mr. Whitemore as
good as said so.”

And with that the gentle mother and loving sister had to be content.

Next morning Vance boarded a Pullman drawing-room car and left Chicago
over the C. B. & Q. railroad for Omaha.



Vance arrived at Omaha on the following morning and registered at the
Great Western Hotel, where he had breakfast.

Then he went to the reading-room and looked over the papers,
particularly noting the corn situation.

It was now time for him to be about his business.

He procured a large, oblong manilla envelope, in which he enclosed his
letter of instruction, all but one of his letters of introduction,
option vouchers and his check-book, and after removing a single
specific check marked by a perforated capital “A,” he sealed up the
package, addressed it to himself and deposited it in the hotel safe.

Then he sallied forth on the streets of Omaha.

The hotel clerk had directed him where to find the elevator buildings,
which were located at various points along the river front.

He took a car to the nearest point and then inquired his way to the
office of Flint, Peabody & Co., who controlled three of the elevators.

Their counting-room was in Elevator A.

“I should like to see Mr. Peabody,” he said to a clerk who asked him
his business.

“He is busy at present. Take a seat.”

After waiting half an hour he was shown into the private office.

“Mr. Peabody?” asked Vance of a little, white-haired old gentleman
seated at a mahogany desk alongside a window overlooking the Missouri

“Yes; what can I do for you?”

Vance handed him his card, in one corner of which was printed Jared
Whitemore in small type.

“Mr. Thornton, eh?” exclaimed the busy head of the establishment,
regarding him with some surprise as he sized him up from head to foot.

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ve been expecting a representative of Mr. Whitemore, as those corn
options expire at noon to-day. I am bound to say I looked for an older
person than you. I presume you have a power of attorney to act for
him?” said Mr. Peabody, holding out his hand.

Vance produced the paper, which the gentleman very carefully examined.

“How am I to know that you are really the person set forth in this
document--that you are actually Mr. Whitemore’s representative? It
may be a forgery, and you may be acting for people opposed to that
gentleman’s interests,” said Mr. Peabody sharply.

“I have a letter of introduction which ought to cover that point,”
answered Vance, promptly producing an envelope addressed to the person
he was talking to.

“Hum!” said Mr. Peabody, glancing it over. “Seems to be all right.
However, as his option is a large one covering grain in our three
elevators, I’ve got to be careful. Excuse me a moment.”

“Are you going to call up Mr. Whitemore?” asked Vance as the gentleman
rose from his desk.

“Why do you ask?” asked Mr. Peabody abruptly, casting a suspicious look
at the boy.

“Because, for business reasons he expressly desires that you should
call up Mr. Walcott of the Chicago National Bank and ask for him. He
does not want any communication at his office direct.”

“Very well,” replied the gentleman, who easily surmised Mr. Whitemore’s

The elevator magnate entered a telephone booth at the end of the room
and sat there a matter of fifteen minutes.

“I am satisfied that you are Mr. Whitemore’s representative,” he said
as he reseated himself at his desk. “Now, young man, we will talk
business. Of course you don’t expect me to close with you except at the
market price?”

“I expect to settle with you at the price named in the option, less the
amount paid to secure it,” said Vance promptly.

“You ought to know that corn is several points above the figure stated
in the option. We cannot close on those terms.”

“Do I understand that you refuse to make a settlement of this
transaction according to the terms of the option?” asked Vance, rising
to his feet.

“Sit down, young man,” said the elevator magnate. “You have the voucher
for the option with you, I suppose?”


“I should like to see it.”

“You are prepared to redeem the option now, are you?” and Mr. Peabody
glanced at the clock, which indicated close on to the noon hour.

“Yes, sir.”

The gentleman considered the matter for several minutes, during which
he cast penetrating looks at Vance’s clear-cut, determined face.

“Does Mr. Whitemore propose to hold this corn in storage here?”

“I have no instructions as to its immediate removal,” replied Vance;
“that is all I can say.”

“Very well. Have you Mr. Whitemore’s check for the difference?”

“I have Mr. Whitemore’s signed check, made out to your order, which I
will hand you as soon as the amount has been computed.”

“It is possible there will be a difference in our figures,” said Mr.
Peabody, with a grim smile.

“That’s all right,” replied Vance, briskly. “The amount has been left
to me to fill in.”

“Eh?” exclaimed Mr. Peabody, in a tone of surprise.

Vance repeated his remark.

“By George, young man, he seems to place implicit confidence in you!”
and the head of the elevator firm once more looked Vance over, and with
some curiosity.

Mr. Peabody, having decided to close up the transaction on the terms
of the option, which he was legally bound to do, since Vance could
not be bluffed into accepting less favorable ones, the differences
were calculated, and the boy filled in the check designated as “A,”
requesting a receipt for the amount, which was immediately made out and
handed to him.

Mr. Whitemore thus became the owner of something over a million bushels
of corn stored in elevators A, B, and C.

This completed Vance’s business in Omaha.

On his way back to the hotel he stopped at the postoffice, and
forwarded to his employer, in care of the Chicago National Bank, the
receipt for the money covered by the check.

Then he went to dinner, after which he spent an hour viewing some of
the sights of the western city.

At four o’clock he took a cab for the Union Depot, bought a ticket for
Kansas City, and took his seat in a Pullman sleeper.

He arrived at his destination about midnight, drove to one of the
principal hotels and went to bed, after taking the precaution to
deposit his valuable papers in the office safe.

There were three different elevator firms he had to visit in this city.

He presented himself at the first at ten o’clock.

Here his youth was also unfavorably commented on in a transaction
which involved 600,000 bushels of grain, and the head of the firm was
inclined to hold off, until Vance insisted that he should communicate
with his employer in Chicago.

Not being able to get Mr. Walcott on the long-distance ’phone, Vance
suggested that he call up Flint, Peabody & Co., of Omaha.

The gentleman, after some demur, consented to do this, being personally
acquainted with Mr. Peabody, and the result of the confab was so
satisfactory that Vance completed his business with him, getting a call
on the corn, as the option did not expire until the next day.

At the offices of the other two elevators Vance had very little
trouble, his power of attorney and letters of introduction being
accepted without question, and no attempt being made to evade the terms
of the option.

“That winds up this town,” he said in a tone of satisfaction as he left
the last place. “It is easier than I expected. Now for the postoffice.”

He inquired the way there, purchased a stamped envelope, and sent off
the three receipts by registered mail, according to his instructions.

“I’ve got lots of time now, as the next option at Grainville does not
expire until Friday,” he reflected as he took a car for his hotel.
“Guess I’ll take in a show to-night.”

He reached the hotel in time for lunch.

While he was in the dining-room a smart, dapper-looking young man
entered the hotel rotunda and walked briskly up to the office counter.

Taking possession of the registry book, he glanced rapidly over the
day’s arrivals.

His nervous finger-tips paused for an instant at Vance Thornton’s name,
which, in clear handwriting, stood almost at the top of the first page.

The young man noted the number of the room to which the boy had been
assigned, and then glanced sharply at the numbered pigeon-holes where
the room keys were deposited.

“He’s here, all right,” he muttered, as he turned away with a singular
smile, “and is not in his room. He reached here early this morning, as
his name is right under the date. He ought to be an easy proposition
for Sadie to work. I must have those corn options and whatever
warehouse receipts he has secured. Old Whitemore was pretty slick to
send this young chap instead of Vyce, whom we depended on. But the old
fox is up against a crowd as slick as himself this time, and he’s
going to be squeezed good and hard.”

Thus speaking to himself, the dapper young man pulled a cigar from his
pocket, bit off the end, and lit it.

Then he walked over and seated himself in a chair that commanded a view
of the office.



The dapper young man had almost finished his cigar when Vance came into
the rotunda from the dining-room.

The stranger recognized the boy at once, which was not at all
surprising, since he had met Vance probably fifty times in Chicago in
the course of business.

“Why, hello, Thornton!” he exclaimed, walking briskly up to the lad
and extending his hand in a cordial manner; “this is a surprise. What
brings you out west, eh?”

“Mr. Dudley!” ejaculated Vance, somewhat taken back by the encounter.

The circumstance annoyed him greatly.

“Pshaw!” said the dapper gentleman, whose age might have been
twenty-three. “Why the handle? I’m Guy to my friends, don’t you know!
Aren’t you going to shake?”

Common politeness compelled Vance to accept the young man’s hand,
though it was with some reluctance.

“You’re about the last chap I’d have thought of meeting out here in
Kansas, ‘pon my word,” continued Dudley, volubly. “But I’m deuced glad
to see you, all the same.”

The reverse was the case with Vance, though of course he did not so
express himself.

He was inclined to regard the meeting as unfortunate.

“I had no idea of seeing you here, either,” said Vance, with no great

“I s’pose not,” said Dudley, showing his fine set of teeth with a sort
of feline smile. “It’s always the unexpected what happens, don’t you
know. Have a smoke?” and he offered Vance a cigar.

“Thank you, I don’t smoke.”

“Come over to the Criterion, then, and I’ll blow you off,” and Dudley
grabbed him by the arm in a friendly way.

“You’ll have to excuse me. I do not drink,” replied Vance firmly.

“You don’t mean it, do you?” said Dudley, clearly disappointed.
“A fellow can’t drink alone, don’t you know? Take a soda or a
sarsaparilla--anything, just to seem social.”

The dapper young man did not appear inclined to be easily shaken off.

Vance hesitated, and Dudley, taking advantage of his momentary
indecision, pressed him so strongly that the boy, not wishing to appear
rude, agreed to accompany his undesirable acquaintance across the
street to the swell establishment known as the Criterion.

“I’ve only just come to town,” said Guy Dudley as they ranged up
alongside the mahogany bar, rather an unusual experience for Vance,
who never frequented such places in Chicago. “You see, the governor,
my father, you know, has a big interest in one of the flour mills out
here, and as he couldn’t come himself, he sent me to look after a
matter of importance which affects his control of the business.”

Vance nodded politely.

“I s’pose you’re here on business connected with your boss, Whitemore,

The speaker’s sharp eyes glinted curiously.

“What makes you think so?” asked Vance cautiously.

“Why, what else should bring you to Kansas City?”

“There might be several reasons other than what you suggested,” said
Vance, sparring for a valid excuse to throw Guy Dudley off the track.
“My father had business interests here before he died which were never

This was strictly a fact; though Vance knew very well that the matter
at which he hinted was not in the slightest danger of ever being
settled in his mother’s favor at that late day.

“You don’t say,” replied Dudley, an incredulous smile curling his lips.

“As to Mr. Whitemore,” added Vance, “my experience in his employ is
that he is not accustomed to send a boy like me to execute important

“That’s true,” winked Dudley, putting down the glass he had just
drained; “but then one can never tell just what Whitemore may do. He’s
as shrewd as they make them nowadays.”

To this remark Vance made no answer.

“How long are you going to stay in town?” said Guy Dudley, changing the

“I may leave to-morrow and I may not,” replied his companion evasively.

“A short stay, eh? Well, you ought to make it a merry one. What are you
going to do with yourself to-night?”

“I think I shall go to the theater,” said Vance carelessly.

“Just what I was going to propose,” said Dudley, with suppressed
eagerness. “You must come with me. There is a good show at Hyde &
Beaman’s. S’pose we go there?”

Vance was rather taken aback at this proposition.

He was not a bit anxious to go with Guy Dudley under the circumstances.

But to refuse his invitation without some good reason was sure to give
offence, and Vance always considered it a wise policy not to make an
enemy if he could avoid doing so.

So he accepted Dudley’s offer, much to the young man’s inward
satisfaction, and then pleaded a business engagement to get rid of him.

The dapper young man, having accomplished all that he wanted for the
present, made no further effort to press his society on Vance, hinting
that he also had business to attend to; as indeed he had, but not of
the nature he would have his boy acquaintance believe.

So they parted at the entrance to the Criterion, Dudley promising to
call for him at his hotel at about half-past seven that evening.

Kansas City, Kansas, is a wideawake, lively town, and Vance Thornton
spent several hours that afternoon wandering about the principal
streets, an interested observer of western progress.

Promptly at seven-thirty Guy Dudley presented himself at the hotel
office and inquired for Vance Thornton.

“Are you Mr. Dudley?” asked the clerk.

“That’s my name,” said the dapper young man airily.

“You will find Mr. Thornton in the reading-room.”

“Well, old man,” said Dudley, tapping Vance on the shoulder, where he
sat looking over the copy of a current magazine, “I see you’re all
ready and waiting. Just put on your coat and we’ll trot along.”

Vance donned his light overcoat and the pair left the hotel together.

“I s’pose you won’t indulge even to the extent of a cigarette?” said
Dudley, pulling out a silver case and tendering it to the lad. “No?
All right; bad practice, I know, but it’s one of my follies,” he said
lightly as he lit a match and applied a light to a gold-rimmed cylinder
of Turkish tobacco. “When one has a quantity of wild oats to sow the
quicker he puts ’em under the ground the better,” he added with a laugh.

“You appear to be one of the boys,” said Vance, for want of something
better to say.

“Yes, I make it a point to see my share of life occasionally,” the
dapper young man admitted with a grin. “You don’t go around much, do
you?” with a slight sneer.

“No,” said Vance with a shake of his head. “One needs to keep his wits
clear in our line, and I don’t see how that can be done if you stay up
three-quarters of the night chasing the elephant.”

“Pshaw! When a fellow wakes up in the morning feeling a bit rocky a
dose of bromo-seltzer will fetch him around all right. All work and no
play makes Jack a dull boy. If I didn’t take a run out of a night with
the boys once in awhile I wouldn’t be worth shucks. You don’t know what
you lose, old chap. Still, you’re young yet.”

“I believe in enjoying myself in a rational manner, Mr. Dudley,” said
Vance. “Drinking and smoking and billiards and card-playing don’t quite
fall in with my idea of a good time.”

“All right,” remarked Dudley carelessly; “every one to his taste. Well,
here we are,” and he turned in at the entrance to Hyde & Beaman’s
theater, followed by Vance.

Dudley had secured good seats in the orchestra, and as the performance
was above the average Vance thoroughly enjoyed it.

“You don’t object to having a bite, do you?” asked Guy Dudley after the

“I don’t usually eat late at night,” replied Vance, “but I have no
objection to joining you. Where will we go?”

“There’s a famous English chop-house on Blank street,” said the dapper
young man, with a glint of satisfaction in his eyes; “we’ll take a cab
and go there.”

“Why wouldn’t the place over the way do as well?” asked the boy. “It
looks to be a first-class restaurant.”

“So it is, but it isn’t on a par with Bagley’s. They have a fine
grill-room there, and though the bill of fare is limited, it’s English
from A to Z. I guess you’ve never been in one of those establishments.”

“I don’t think I have,” admitted the boy.

“Then it will be my pleasure to introduce you to something worth while.
Hi, there!” beckoning to a cab driver who sat muffled up on his box.

“Get in,” to Vance as the jehu sprang down and opened the cab door,
and the boy allowed the accomplished Mr. Dudley to push him into the
vehicle. “Bagley’s on Blank street,” said the dapper young man to the
driver, and a moment later they were on their way to that notorious
Kansas City resort.

Fifteen minutes later the cab drew up before the entrance to Bagley’s,
a dingy looking building situated in a narrow alley off one of the
business thoroughfares.

Vance had expected to see a brilliantly lighted establishment, with big
plate glass windows and every sign of a high-toned restaurant.

The contrary was the case.

Not even a sign distinguished Bagley’s place from that of the other
buildings in the vicinity, though a red light suspended over the door
served to indicate that it had other uses than those of an ordinary

A light rain was now falling, and before the boy had time to ask his
companion if some mistake had not been made in the place Dudley opened
the door and pushed him inside.



Vance found himself in a narrow, dimly-lighted hallway.

But before the sense of disappointment, not unmixed, perhaps, with a
feeling of uneasiness, had time to assert itself, Dudley brushed by
him and opened a door which admitted them to a long, low-ceiled room,
painted a dull, smoky color, but brilliantly illuminated with many gas
jets enclosed in colored globes, which threw a subdued and fantastic
glow about the room.

There was a kitchen in the rear and a bar along one side near the door.

The rest of the room was taken up with round, well-polished mahogany
tables of different sizes, for large or small parties.

It was a restaurant all right, but entirely different from anything
Vance had ever before visited.

The tone of the place was wholly English, as Dudley had intimated to
his companion, and the bill of fare was limited to broiled meats and
fish, fowl, oysters and rarebits.

The place was chiefly noted for its fine old English ales.

For all that, Bagley’s was a notorious place.

Its frequenters were mostly crooks, gamblers and politicians.

Curiosity and its famous cuisine, however, brought thither a sprinkling
of the better classes--men about town, salesmen and their out-of-town
customers, lawyers, brokers, merchants, and the sons of rich parents
who thought it the correct thing to be seen there.

The upper floors were divided into supper rooms for ladies and their
escorts, and it was quite a fad among the upper crust of Kansas City
aristocracy to drop in there after the theater.

Mr. Bagley himself, rotund and red-faced, lounged in a big easy chair
behind the cashier’s desk near the entrance.

The room was nearly crowded at that hour, and while Vance was surveying
the place with much interest a waiter approached Dudley and handed him
a card.

“We’ll go upstairs, Vance,” said the dapper gentleman gaily. “I’ll
introduce you to a friend of mine.”

Thus speaking, he hooked his arm in Thornton’s and, preceded by the
waiter, they passed out again into the entry and walked up a couple of
flights of richly-carpeted stairs, down to the end of a corridor, where
a window opened on a gloomy prospect of dark roofs and irregular black

The waiter rapped on one of the doors that lined this corridor, and a
voice shouted, “Come in.”

The attendant stepped aside and permitted Dudley to usher Vance into a
well-lighted room and the presence of a dark-complexioned gentleman in
full evening dress and a young lady of unquestioned beauty, that was
heightened by her chic air.

They had just been served with supper, the chief dish being grilled

There were bottles of wine and ale on the table, and the couple seemed
to be enjoying themselves hugely.

“Hello, Dudley! You’re just in time. You’ll have supper with us, of
course--you and your friend. Waiter, take the order.”

“Sure,” responded the dapper young man; then, turning to the lady, whom
he evidently knew, he said, “Miss Miller, this is Vance Thornton.”

The young lady bowed with a sweet smile and a fascinating glance.

“Carrington,” continued Dudley, turning to the gentleman, “let me make
you acquainted with my friend Thornton. Vance, this is Sid Carrington.”

“Glad to know you, Thornton,” said Carrington, rising and extending his

The boy acknowledged both introductions in a suitable manner and then
took the seat pointed out to him, which was close to Miss Miller.

“Vance, like myself, is merely paying a flying visit to Kansas City on
business,” explained Dudley, and then he and Carrington began to talk
together, leaving the boy and Miss Miller to entertain themselves.

There was nothing backward about Miss Miller, for after Vance had given
a modest order to the attendant she proceeded at once to make herself
agreeable to the lad.

“So you’re a stranger in Kansas City, Mr. Thornton? Are you from

“Yes,” replied Vance, who was not a little impressed by the lady’s
loveliness, as well as her fascinating ways.

“Chicago is a most delightful city,” she exclaimed gushingly. “I lived
there for many years myself. The young men of Chicago are so bright and
manly; it is really a pleasure to meet one of them way out here,” and
she flashed such a look at Vance as almost took his breath away.

During the twenty minutes the newcomers had to wait to be served the
lady ate but little, but she talked and laughed enough to make up the

Every little charm she possessed she threw into her conversation, and
she made many adroit inquiries of Vance as to when he left Chicago,
where he had been before he came to Kansas City, where he expected to
go next and when, what his business was, and many other suggestive
queries, all of which the boy parried skilfully or replied to as he
thought prudent, though he had not the slightest suspicion that the
lady had any other object than mere womanly curiosity in asking them.

An acute observer would probably have noticed that she was not entirely
pleased with the result when the conversation became general.

An almost imperceptible signal passed between her and Sid Carrington
when that gentleman finally favored her with a significant look of

He understood at once, and made a remark to Dudley in a low tone, at
which the dapper young man shrugged his shoulders.

“What do you drink, Thornton?” asked Carrington as the waiter stood
by expectantly. “You can have anything you want, but this house is
particularly noted for its imported ales. I’ll order a bottle for you.”

“I’m sorry,” Vance hastened to say, “but I really don’t drink anything.”

“What!” exclaimed Sid, a slight cloud forming on his brow, while Miss
Miller looked up in great surprise.

“That’s right,” interposed Dudley. “He doesn’t touch anything in that
line. I found that out to-day at the Criterion. You’ll take coffee,
however, won’t you, Vance?”

Vance nodded.

“A bottle of your XXX ale, waiter, and a cup of coffee for this
gentleman,” said Guy Dudley briskly.

The attendant bowed and departed.

“So you really don’t drink?” said Miss Miller with an artful smile.
“This is quite a surprise to me, for I thought every gentleman indulged
in something or other. Now, couldn’t I prevail on you to take just a
thimbleful of this light Madeira? As a special favor, with me, you

She favored Vance with an arch look as she filled two small wineglasses
with the amber liquid, as if to imply it was an honor she was
especially according him.

“Really, Miss Miller----” protested Vance, feeling much embarrassed.

“You will oblige me, won’t you?”

She placed one of the glasses close to his fingers and raised the
other toward her ruby lips, with a look so seductive as to be almost

Vance was confused at his position and somewhat bewildered by the
coquettish and persistent attitude of the fair lady at his elbow.

He felt, without actually seeing, that the eyes of the two gentlemen
were fixed upon him at that moment.

As his fingers grasped the slender stem of the wineglass and he half
drew it toward him, a gleam of unholy triumph seemed to dart from three
pairs of eyes.

But their satisfaction was premature.

Suddenly before Vance’s vision passed the face of his gentle,
white-haired mother in Chicago, whom he had promised faithfully that he
would never drink a drop of intoxicating liquor.

He drew back his hand.

His muscles tightened, and he looked his fair tempter squarely in the
face as he said:

“I regret I cannot oblige you, Miss Miller; but I promised my mother I
would not drink, and it is impossible that I can go back on my word.”

Vance Thornton was himself again.

Sadie Miller had not found him such an easy proposition after all.

A look of chagrin rested for a moment on the lady’s face, while Sid
Carrington uttered a strong invective under his breath.

But the affair was instantly passed off with a laugh, and the boy found
himself once more at his ease.

The coffee for Vance and the ale for Dudley presently arrived, and then
another slight signal was made by the host which the girl understood.

The conspirators were about to play their last card.

In the most natural way imaginable Dudley attracted Vance’s attention
for a moment, and the boy half turned away from Miss Miller.

During that instant she leaned slightly forward, extended her arm and
dropped something into the coffee.

It was all done in a moment, and when Vance turned again to the young
lady she was in the act of drinking from her own glass of Madeira.

He drank the coffee at intervals as he polished off a grilled bone,
quite unsuspicious that he had fallen into the snare at last.

The effects of the drug became evident to the watchful eyes of the
three conspirators before Vance began to realize there was anything the
matter with him.

At length he experienced the insidious feeling of heaviness and torpor
characteristic of a dose of chloral or knockout drops.

“Hadn’t we better--go?” he blurted out in a thick, hesitating tone to
Dudley, who was talking to Carrington.

“What for? There’s no hurry. We’ll all go together presently,” was the
reply of the dapper young man.

Vance looked helplessly at Miss Miller, his eyes, hitherto so alert and
bright, now half closed and dull.

He half rose in his chair with a muttered exclamation, sank back,
swayed a bit to and fro, and then utterly collapsed.

“He’s safe!” cried Carrington with sudden energy, rising to his feet.
“Quick, Dudley; see if he has the papers on him, and secure them before
the waiter turns up.”

In an instant Vance’s treacherous companion was searching him with a
swiftness called forth by the urgency of the occasion.

But pocket after pocket failed to yield the desired results.

The option vouchers not yet presented for settlement, and such
warehouse receipts as the boy was supposed to have about his person,
were not to be found.

In fact, not a document of any kind relating to his trip was in

“Curse the luck!” exclaimed Carrington, who appeared to be engineering
the conspiracy. “We’re euchred after all! What has he done with them?”

Miss Miller, who had been watching the abortive efforts of Guy Dudley
with a slight curl on her pretty lips, now spoke.

“Evidently the boy is smarter than you have given him credit for,” she
said with a tantalizing laugh. “I suspected it almost from the start.
Why, he didn’t give a single thing away the whole time I was doing my
best to pump him. You’ll have to try something else, Sid, if you expect
to reach results.”

Just then the waiter appeared at the door with the bill.

“What’s the number of your cab, Dudley?” asked Carrington as he handed
the attendant a bill.

“No. 206.”

“Call up 206 and 93, waiter, and then you’ll have to help us get our
friend here to the walk. Your coffee has been too much for him.”



Vance woke up next morning with a severe headache.

He was in bed in his room at the hotel.

His thinking powers were somewhat mixed, and he wondered what had
occurred to him.

“I don’t recollect coming to bed,” he muttered in a perplexed tone.
“Where was I last night?”

He did not even remember that he had been to the theater.

After lying motionless in bed a good fifteen minutes staring at the
ceiling he gave the problem up for a bad job.

“What time is it, anyway?”

“Gee! Nearly ten o’clock! I’ll have to hustle if I am going to get any
breakfast in this house to-day. Something is wrong with me, that’s
sure. I never felt this way before.”

He began to dress, and then gave his face and head a good sousing,
which made him feel better.

“I look as if I had been out with the boys all night,” he said,
observing his bloodshot eyes and pallid expression. “I’d give something
to know what has knocked me out.”

He did not feel hungry, but he believed a cup of coffee would do him

On his way from the elevator to the dining-room he stopped at the
office and asked the clerk if he had any idea when he came in last

“You’ll have to see the night man about that,” replied the spruce young
man with a quizzical smile. “Been having a good time, I suppose. Better
get a bromo-seltzer before you eat. Step into the drug store, right
through the corridor, and he’ll fix you up all right.”

Vance thought the clerk’s advice was good and he followed it, after
which he went into breakfast.

It was not long before the events of the preceding evening began to
fashion themselves in his brain, and the situation dawned upon him.

“But I didn’t drink anything at that place,” he persisted to himself,
“that is, nothing but a cup of coffee. Perhaps strong coffee at
midnight doesn’t agree with me, as I’m not used to it. All the same,
it’s funny I don’t remember a thing about how the affair wound up, or
how I got back and into my bed upstairs.”

The reflection annoyed him a good bit.

“That Miss Miller is a fine looking girl, all right,” he mused, trying
to devote his attention to the morning’s report about the corn market;
“I don’t think I ever met such an attractive person. Still, I think I
prefer Bessie. And the chap that was with her--I forget his name--he
seems to be a pretty swell party. Seems to me I’ve seen him before.
If I have, of course it was in Chicago. I wonder if Dudley will be
around looking for me this morning? I don’t fancy him much, although he
certainly treated me away up in G. I’m sorry on the whole I met him,
for if he returns to town before me he’ll probably mention that he met
me out here, and that’s just what Mr. Whitemore doesn’t want. If it
should get about that I was on a night racket with him it’s bound to
hurt me. I guess I’d better cut Dudley out by taking an early train for

As this seemed to be good policy, Vance hastened to settle with
the hotel people, and having found that he could get a train for
his destination at 1:30 p. m., he snatched a hasty lunch, hired a
cab, and reached the station in plenty of time to board the through

Arrived at Grainville, he went to the best hotel in town and
registered, depositing his documents, as usual, in the office safe.

Next morning he visited the two elevator concerns he had to do business
with, settled the differences without trouble, and took a call on the
grain, sending his vouchers off to Chicago in the usual way.

From there he went to other important grain centers in Kansas, where
the balance of his options were to be settled, closing up that part of
the business finally in Jayville, Missouri.

“There, that winds up the option business,” he remarked with an air of
relief as he registered the last of his vouchers for Chicago.

Consulting his letter of instructions, he found that he had to proceed
to a town called Elevatorville, on the Mississippi, facing the State of

The branch railroad that connected the place with the nearest trunk
line was a rocky affair, and had fallen into the hands of a receiver
owing to a default in the interest on its first mortgage bonds.

Evidently transportation business had fallen off badly in that section.

Vance made cautious inquiries at the junction as to whether much grain
had passed over the branch road lately, but nobody seemed to know
anything about the matter.

The regular station agent was sick in bed, and the substitute assured
Vance that there was nothing doing in that line.

The boy took the late afternoon train for Elevatorville, arriving at
the town long after dark.

A solitary, worn-out hotel ’bus was backed up against the station

Vance, grip in hand, was stepping over to take it, when it suddenly
struck him that perhaps he had better not go to the hotel.

If he could obtain accommodation at some house in the suburbs his
presence in the place would probably attract less attention.

There might be nothing in it after all, but he proposed to omit no
precaution having a bearing on his secret mission.

So he asked a husky looking boy he noticed standing around if he knew
of any place in the vicinity where he could find board and lodging for
a few days.

“I’ll show you a place, mister.”

The country boy took him around to an unpretentious cottage, where he
secured what he wanted at very reasonable terms.

Feeling that some excuse was in order, he explained to the elderly
spinster who owned the house that he thought Elevatorville might
improve his health.

“You don’t look a bit sick,” she ventured, looking him over with
critical consideration.

“That’s right, madam; but you can’t always tell by appearances,”
replied Vance with a politeness that quite charmed her.

“True,” she answered. “I remember my niece Mary Ann looked the very
picture of health when she came here to visit me, and before she was
here a week she took down sick with liver complaint and nearly died.”

“Just so, madam,” said Vance, with an amused smile.

“I hope you won’t be sick, young man,” she continued anxiously; “but
if you should be, I can recommend my nephew, who is the best doctor in

“I’ll bear your relative in mind if I should need his services,”
replied the boy, stifling a grin.

“I s’pose you feel kind of hungry, don’t you? Come by the train, didn’t

Vance admitted that he could eat a trifle if she would be so good as to
prepare something.

“The fire is out, but I can light it up again. I can’t promise you
any delicacies, but we don’t stint ourselves. I’m right glad to get a
boarder these hard times, and will make you feel at home. It’s a wonder
you didn’t go right to the hotel, though if you can’t afford it you’ve
done right to come here.”

If the lady was surprised at Vance’s healthy appetite, she discreetly
made no reference to it, beyond remarking that she was glad to see he
enjoyed the meal.

Vance was up early next morning, and after a satisfactory breakfast
sallied out on a tour of observation.

The place wore a dormant air, a surprising fact for a western river

Vance judged that it had been struck by a temporary setback of some
sort, which happened to be the fact.

The boy saw the outlines of five big elevator buildings in the distance
down by the river, and he strolled over in that direction.

He avoided the main business streets, going toward the great
Mississippi by a roundabout way that brought him to the river bank a
mile above the objects that he aimed at.

He smiled to himself at the idea of taking so much trouble, which in
the end might prove to have been time spent to no purpose; but when he
drew near to the doorway leading to the office of the first elevator he
suddenly came to a different conclusion.

For there, sunning himself on an inverted cask outside of the entrance,
he spied a familiar figure.

A quick glance at the person’s face enabled Vance to identify him.

It was the dapper young Chicagoian, Guy Dudley, as large as life.



“What the dickens is he doing in Elevatorville?” ejaculated Vance in
great astonishment. “I thought he was attending to business for his
father in Kansas City.”

Just then a man in a sack-coat and wearing a smart-looking fedora hat
came to the door and entered into conversation with Dudley.

Presently the dapper young man jumped off his perch, and the two began
to walk toward the spot where Vance stood regarding them with some

“It will never do for him to see me here,” muttered the boy, backing
out of view and then walking rapidly down a path that led to that end
of the elevator which faced the water. “He’d ask no end of embarrassing
questions which I never could answer.”

When Vance reached the corner of the elevator building he found that
further progress in that direction was blocked by the water, unless
he chose to crawl over the damp sand under the ground floor of the
edifice, which was raised several feet on spiles.

So he concluded to wait where he was until the coast was clear again.

He looked back to see if Dudley and his companion were continuing on up
the street, but to his dismay he saw they also had turned into the path
leading down to the river end of the building.

There was nothing now but to get out of sight under the corner of the
elevator and wait for them to retire.

“How long do you expect to stay in this burg, Mr. Dudley?” the man in
the fedora hat was saying as the pair came within earshot of Vance’s
post of concealment.

“Give it up,” returned the dapper young man, with a yawn. “It’s
precious dull here, all right; but I’ve got to stick here until I
find out whether that Thornton chap”--at these words Vance pricked
up his ears and was instantly on the alert--“is coming down here on
a reconnoitering expedition for his boss, old man Whitemore, or not.
Those are my orders, and I got them right from the shoulder, too.”

“What makes you think he is coming here?” asked the elevator man

“We have our reasons,” replied Dudley significantly, “and we’re not
taking any chances. I’m watching every train that comes in.”

“I didn’t see you at the depot last night.”

“I don’t have to go to the depot. He’ll go to the hotel as sure as
guns, or to the Stag House.”

“Or to the Parker House,” suggested the man in the fedora.

“Scarcely there. He’s got plenty of money and will want the best that
is to be had. However, I don’t care where he goes; the moment he
registers at any of these places I shall be informed.”

“Well?” said the other interrogatively.

“Then I’ll point him out to you, and it will be up to you to see that
he’s blocked at every point.”

“As every one of our men down here has been fixed, I don’t think
he’ll find out a heap,” remarked the elevator official in a tone of

“However, there’s nothing like making assurance doubly sure, Mr.
Taggart,” said Dudley, taking out his cigarette case. “Have a smoke?”

“Thanks,” and his companion helped himself to one.

“The whole trouble seems to have developed from the fact that our ally,
Vyce--that’s old Whitemore’s bookkeeper--has come under the suspicion
of his employer, though it isn’t likely anything can be brought against
him. When the combination was forming Carrington found out Vyce could
be bought. He had his price--most everybody has--and an arrangement
was effected by which he was to keep the opposition pool informed of
Whitemore’s operations in this new deal of his as far as he was able to
find them out.”

“That was a great advantage,” said Mr. Taggart, wagging his head

“Well, say, you’ve no idea what it counts for. Whitemore has been
dominating the bull clique for years. All sorts of jobs have been put
up to him, but he has managed to wriggle out somehow. This time we
believe it is his object to corner the market, and the combination
which is after his scalp is backed by one of the strongest banks in
Chicago. I fancy it is strong enough to squeeze him. If we should catch
him we’ll wring him bone-dry. We’ll bankrupt him as sure as my name is
Guy Dudley.”

The dapper young man lit another cigarette and continued:

“As I was saying, Vyce, our source of information on the inside, has
suddenly dried up. Whitemore hasn’t accused him of any underhanded
dealings, but the very fact that he has shut up tighter than a clam
toward his confidential assistant, and has sent young Thornton--a
mere boy, you might say--west to close up his corn options, is a sure
sign that the old man is suspicious of Vyce. Ever since that boy left
Chicago we have reason to suspect that Whitemore has been quietly
buying every bushel of corn that is offered, though his regular brokers
do not appear in these transactions. If this is a fact, he must own
more than half of the visible supply on the market.”

“He must have a barrel of money.”

“I’d be satisfied with half of what I could raise on his real estate.
It was a slick and farseeing move on the part of the pool to sneak
five million bushels down here without the fact getting out. That was
accomplished early in the game by working our pull with the Mississippi
Transportation Co. Nothing like having an influential director or two
at your back.”

The man in the fedora hat nodded.

“These elevators have been duly reported out of business for one reason
or another.”

“I can’t see how you managed to keep the papers in the dark. What they
can’t ferret out isn’t worth knowing.”

Guy Dudley laughed sardonically.

“The combination simply bought up half a dozen of the leading papers,
and own them body and soul. They print only what we want on the corn
question. They mold public opinion, as it were. The other papers copy
our news, and there you are--see?”

Mr. Taggart thought he saw, for he rubbed his hands and laughed.

“But in dealing with such an artful old fox as Jared Whitemore we have
to provide against the unusual and the unexpected. It was distinctly
unusual for him to send a boy like Vance Thornton to close up his
options--yet that is what he has done, and we should never have got on
to it if it had not been for the uncommon shrewdness of our man Vyce.
If he has done this, there is no reason why he hasn’t instructed the
boy to come down here after he has finished with the options and try
to find out whether the press reports concerning these elevators are
really founded on facts, or whether they have been cooked up by the
opposition forces.”

“And do you think that young fellow Thornton is smart enough for such a
slick job as that?” asked Mr. Taggart, with a sneer.

“Do I? Well, say, he’s all right, and don’t you make any mistake on
that head,” said Dudley in a convincing tone as he gave the rim of
his hat a flip backward. “Carrington says he’s smart enough to be
dangerous, and Carrington is no fool.”

“Yet he’s only a boy, you say?” said Mr. Taggart, skeptically.

“That’s all right. He was clever enough to block a little game we put
up on him in Kansas City, and he didn’t even suspect our intentions,

“How was that?” asked Mr. Taggart, with some interest.

“Carrington came down himself from Chicago to help the thing along, and
brought one of his handsomest lady stenographers along to pump the boy
dry. And she did it, too; oh, yes, she did it--nit! And we thought he
would be such an easy proposition. We wanted to find out all his plans
and get possession of the options we supposed he carried about in his

“And you failed, eh?”

“We failed all right. He didn’t have as much as a toothpick about
him, and so, after dosing his coffee, for he doesn’t drink a drop of
liquor, we had all our trouble for nothing. The girl went into a spasm
of admiration over Thornton’s cleverness in being prepared for the
unexpected, while Carrington was madder than a whole nest of hornets. I
took him to his hotel and put him to bed, and that’s the last I’ve seen
of him.”

“Well, now, you hear me,” said the man in the fedora hat, thumping the
side of the bunch of spiles behind which Vance was listening to this
enlightening conversation, “if he comes down here and gets away with a
grain of information as big as one grain of those five million bushels
stored in these, five elevators, I’ll give you leave to kick me from
here to the mouth of the Mississippi.”

The remark was emphatic and forcible, and there was not the slightest
doubt that Mr. Taggart meant every word of it, yet is it any wonder
that Vance Thornton, under the circumstances, grinned as he had never
grinned before in all his life?



If Guy Dudley and Mr. Taggart, the manager of the five elevators of
Elevatorville, only suspected the injury they had inflicted on their
cause by coming down to the water’s edge of that particular elevator
under which Vance Thornton happened to be concealed at the time, and
there telling all they knew to the winds, as they thought, there is
not the least doubt that they would have felt like going to some quiet
place and kicking themselves off the earth.

The dapper Mr. Dudley thought himself as smart as they make them in
Chicago, but really he had lots to learn.

He was satisfied that young Thornton could not poke his nose into the
town without he (Dudley) becoming immediately aware of the fact.

Yet Vance had already been more than twelve hours in Elevatorville
without the dapper young man’s knowledge, and had practically
accomplished the object of his visit through the indiscreet loquacity
of the gentlemen who were “laying” for him.

The only really good thing that Dudley had been guilty of was his
admission of Thornton’s cleverness.

Dudley and the manager of the elevators, having unwittingly put Vance
Thornton in possession of more information even than he had expected to
pick up in that western river town, walked back the way they had come
and parted at the corner of the street, the dapper young man returning
to his hotel.

“Well,” murmured Vance, as he emerged from his place of concealment,
“if this hasn’t been the greatest piece of luck I’ve ever heard tell
of, I don’t know what luck is. So there’s actually five million bushels
of corn in these elevators, while they are officially reported as
empty? I’m much obliged to you, Mr. Taggart, for the information,”
and he looked after the retreating figures of the manager and his
companion. “So that was a put-up job on me at Bagley’s chop-house, eh?
And I never dreamed of it. At last I am on to you, Mr. Guy Dudley,
and I think you’ve done all the damage you’re likely to do to Mr.
Whitemore. And our respectable bookkeeper, Mr. Edgar Vyce, is a snake
in the grass. I’ll have to lose no time in putting Mr. Whitemore next
to all these important facts. When he learns the real state of affairs
I guess Mr. Vyce will have to join the opposition in person as well as
in spirit. I never did like him much, and now I certainly despise him.
A sneak and a traitor ought always to be handled without gloves.”

By this time the road was clear for Vance to retire without attracting
special attention to himself, and half an hour later he was seated at a
table in the cottage writing a letter to his employer.

That afternoon he left Elevatorville by a river boat that carried him a
few miles up the Mississippi to another town that boasted of a pair of
dismantled elevators.

He had no difficulty in personally examining these buildings, and found
that the newspaper report as to their condition was strictly true.

Vance added a postscript to his letter, setting forth the facts as he
had found them, and then forwarded it by registered mail, as usual.

“I suppose Guy Dudley is watching for the train to deposit me in
Elevatorville this evening,” he grinned as he sat on the hotel veranda
after supper. “Gee! It was a lucky thought of mine not to go to the
hotel last night. Had I done so my name would probably have been mud,
so far as finding out what I came for, and then I should never have
found out those other little matters. It’s better to be born lucky than

Next morning Vance left for a railway junction town in Missouri, the
last point he had on his list.

It is unnecessary to go into the particulars of his business at this

It is enough to say that it had a direct bearing on his employer’s
plans, and the boy managed to obtain all the necessary information to
be got.

“Now for Chicago and home,” said Vance, in a happy frame of mind, after
he had boiled down his statistics in a succinct letter to Mr. Whitemore
and sent it off.

The boy uttered these words as he was coming out of the postoffice,
which was located on the corner of two streets.

Immediately preceding him was a tall and commanding man, with a swarthy
complexion and black eyes.

Vance had noticed him inside posting a letter.

He wore a soft felt hat of generous proportions, and his manner was the
free and easy way of the wide west.

The boy stopped and watched him with some curiosity as he started to
cross the street.

At that moment a noisy racket arose around the corner, and there
suddenly came into view a team of horses attached to a heavy wagon of

Evidently the animals were frightened, and were dashing about in a
blind, purposeless race.

The stranger was right in their path, and seeing his peril, he sprang

But in some unaccountable way he missed his footing, slipped and fell
upon the roadway.

A dozen or more people besides Vance noticed his mishap, but only the
boy seemed to have presence of mind enough to take any action.

The frenzied horses were almost upon the fallen man when Vance, darting
out from the sidewalk, seized the near animal by the bridle-rein, as
well as getting a secure grip on the harness with the other hand, and
succeeded in slightly veering the team out of its course.

Off course he was instantly carried off his feet and placed in an
exceedingly dangerous situation, but he had accomplished his object.

The wheels of the heavy wagon barely grazed the stranger’s head as it
flew by, but he was saved--saved by Vance’s remarkable nerve and quick

The runaways, handicapped by his weight, and headed off by several men
who now jumped into the roadway and waved their coats and hats, lost
their speed and were presently brought to a standstill.

“Young man,” exclaimed a broad-shouldered Missourian, grasping Vance by
the hand, as with rumpled clothes and minus his hat he let go his hold
and staggered back from the restive and trembling horses, “that was one
of the pluckiest things I reckon I’ve seen for a long time.”

“That’s what it was, so help me Bob!” cried another demonstrative
individual, pressing himself to the fore. “Shake, youngster!”

A crowd quickly gathered around the boy, and everybody wanted to take
him by the hand and tell him what they thought of his feat.

“Here’s your hat!” cried some one on the outskirts of the circle.

Half a dozen willing hands were extended to grasp and restore it to its

It was really extraordinary what an interest the onlookers had suddenly
taken in the Chicago boy.

“Oh, come now,” objected Vance, trying to disengage himself from his
well-meaning admirers, “I’m really much obliged to you; but I think you
might let a fellow go now.”

“But you’ve got to drink with us before we can let you part company,”
cried one officious six-foot native.

“You must excuse me,” said Vance, moving off, “but I don’t drink.”

“You don’t drink!” exclaimed several of the men in a breath, falling
back at what seemed to them a most unheard-of statement. “Did you say
that you didn’t drink?”

“That’s exactly what I did say, and I generally mean what I say,”
answered the boy in a firm tone.

As Vance elbowed his way clear of the mob every one looked at him
with the same curiosity they might have bestowed upon some new and
extraordinary animal which had unexpectedly dropped in among them.

A fellow that did not drink was decidedly something out of the common
in Missouri.

Vance, however, was rescued from this disagreeable situation by the man
whose life he had saved.

The big fellow stepped up, and linking his arm with the lad’s, drew him
off down the street, saying, in a very pleasant and somewhat musical

“Let us get away from this mob, my young friend; I fancy their
well-meant intentions are not particularly agreeable to either of us. I
can see that you don’t care to be made a hero of, though I never knew
one who more deserved the honor.”

He spoke in such a breezy, whole-souled way that Vance was instantly
prepossessed in his favor.

Though he showed the flavor of the untrammeled West in every movement,
yet there was nothing rough about him.

He was a gentleman from heel to crown.

“I am very glad you were not injured by the runaway, sir,” said Vance

“Thanks to your nerve and presence of mind, I was not; but I had a
narrow call for my life. I owe my preservation to you, my brave lad,
and I wish you to understand that I am deeply grateful to you. You must
let me know your name, for I insist that we shall be better acquainted.”

“My name is Vance Thornton.”

“Thank you; and mine is William Bradhurst.”

“I am pleased to know you, Mr. Bradhurst,” said Vance heartily.

“Not more than I am to know you,” replied the man from the West. “You
are a stranger to this town, I should judge.”

“Yes, sir; I am from Chicago.”

“You interest me. I am bound for that city myself. I expect to take the
afternoon train for St. Louis, to connect with the Panhandle road.”

“I intend to leave to-day for Chicago by the same route,” said Vance,
pleased with the prospect of having so agreeable a companion.

“I am delighted to hear it, my dear fellow,” answered the westerner, in
a tone which indicated his satisfaction. “We will go together, if you
have no objection.”

“I shall be glad to have your society,” assented the boy.

“Good. I was wondering how I would relieve the monotony of the trip.
You have settled the matter in the way I should have preferred.”

By this time they were several blocks from the scene of their thrilling

“Where are you stopping?” asked the big fellow.

“At the Planters’ House.”

“Why, that’s where I have put up. If you don’t mind we’ll go there now.
It is nearly lunch hour. Anyhow, I’d like to have a talk with you.”

To this invitation Vance offered no objection, and ten minutes later
they were ascending the hotel elevator together.



“Well, Thornton, I trust that you and I will be good friends,” said Mr.
Bradhurst, as he motioned Vance to a seat by the window after they had
entered one of the best suites of rooms in the house.

“I hope so, sir,” replied the boy in a cheery tone, which indicated
that he saw no reason, at least on his part, why they should not.

“It isn’t every one that I take a fancy to,” said the broad-shouldered
man; “but I am bound to say that, even apart from the natural
friendliness I feel toward one to whom I am so largely indebted as
yourself, I have taken a liking to you on general principles.”

“You are very kind to say so,” returned Vance; “I can say the same
thing as regards yourself.”

“Then we appear to be mutually pleased,” said Bradhurst with a breezy
laugh. “The fact of the matter is, young man, I have lived for the
last eight years in a sort of rough-and-ready community, where a man’s
character comes to the surface without much effort on his part to hold
it down. We soon learn to size up those with whom we are thrown into
contact, and sift the honest fellow from the worthless scamp.”

“You have lived in the mining districts, I suppose?”

“You’ve hit it right at the first guess, though I hardly suppose I
resemble a cowboy.”

“No,” said Vance; “still, you could easily be taken for a prosperous
ranch owner, or something of that sort.”

“That’s right enough, too. I don’t look much as though I was afflicted
with consumption, do I?” asked Bradhurst, with a smile.

“Why, no,” replied the boy in a tone of surprise.

“Well, eight years ago, a few years after I graduated from Yale College
and was beginning the life of a business man in New York, my friends
came to the conclusion that I was marked for an early grave. I had the
disease, all right, so the doctors I consulted said, and was treated
for it; but I went from bad to worse, until it seemed only a question
of time when I was expected to step out. As a last resort I was advised
to give up everything and go to Colorado. Well, I went.”

“And coming West cured you?”

“I don’t fancy so; it was the new life I lived. I kept away from large
towns and went into the wilderness. I lived out in the open air. I
bought a horse and rode about a great deal. After awhile I found my
strength returning and my chest expanding, and in two years I could
afford to laugh at doctors.”

“And you never had a return of the old symptoms?”

“Never. I think it is perfectly safe for me to return to civilization

“It must give you a great deal of satisfaction to know that you have
cheated the undertaker out of a job,” said Vance with a laugh.

“I leave you to judge of that. But while it was solely for the purpose
of recruiting my health I came West, I have also accomplished another
satisfactory result.”

“And what is that?”

“I have made a fortune--and a mighty big one at that.”

“In eight years?”

“In six years. If you have fortune on your side a good deal of money
can be picked up in the wild and woolly districts, as they are
sometimes called.”

“I have often heard so,” admitted Vance interestedly.

“I was always interested in metallurgy, and studied the subject pretty
exhaustively before I had any idea of putting my knowledge to practical
use. While wandering about at my own sweet will I used to do a little
prospecting for the fun of the thing, but I can’t say that I met with
any success. My luck began when I took up my habitation in the Dead
Man’s Creek mining district, Colorado. By that time I had grown tired
of doing nothing. I was induced to buy an interest in a claim that
at first looked to be a good thing, but soon petered out. Still, my
mining information encouraged me to believe there was a future in
it. I bought my partners out for a trivial sum, and from that moment
superintended the working of the mine myself. One day we struck a fine
pay streak, and when the news circulated I was beset with offers from
promoters who came there to examine into it. I refused to sell, but was
finally persuaded to form a company, and dispose of a few shares at a
high figure. That was four years ago. The mine turned out to be a real
bonanza, and my profits from the ore taken out up to a month ago have
been over $2,000,000.”

“Gee!” exclaimed Vance, opening his eyes; “you don’t say!”

“I continued to hold ninety per cent of the stock, and this I disposed
of a little over a week ago for the par value of $100 a share to a
clique of wealthy men. I realized $9,000,000.”

“Nine millions!” gasped Vance, who was astonished at the sum, although
he was accustomed to move in a business atmosphere where transactions
involving millions were a common occurrence.

“Exactly--nine millions,” nodded Bradhurst, enjoying his young
acquaintance’s amazement. “So you see you saved the life of a man
actually worth $11,000,000 in cash and securities. If my head had been
smashed by that truck those millions would have had no further interest
for me. While every man’s life is presumed to be his most precious
possession, mine has more than a usual value.”

“I should think it had,” said the boy, regarding his new friend with a
fresh interest.

“Under these circumstances, Thornton, you will understand that if I
presented you with a couple of millions in consideration of what you
have done for me I shouldn’t be doing any too much to express my
gratitude, and I should still have more money on my hands than I could
ever reasonably hope to spend.”

“I hope you don’t think of doing such a foolish thing as that,” said
Vance, not a little disturbed at the mere idea of being presented with
such an enormous sum.

Perhaps the average person would have entertained different views on
the subject, but then Vance Thornton was young, and had imbibed the
idea that a man ought to earn in a legitimate way all that he acquires.

He had full confidence in his own powers to accumulate a million or two
within the next few years, as soon as he got well in harness.

Perhaps he was right.

Many a young man has been ruined, not only financially, but morally, by
getting next to a fortune without the necessity of earning it.

Mr. Bradhurst possibly neglected to think of that side of the question,
for he said, with a smile:

“Why not?”

“Because I wouldn’t accept what I haven’t earned,” replied the boy

The western man regarded him with an amused smile.

All the same, he began to look upon the lad with a new and increased

“Well,” he said in an altered tone, “we’ll defer the discussion of such
a thing to another time. As a matter of fact, my life, which you have
presented to me, I may say, is worth more than two millions. In fact,
it is quite beyond any financial value. Will you permit me to bestow on
you in return for it a lifelong friendship?”

There was no doubting the feeling which actuated those words.

“I shall be only too glad to accept that,” replied Vance, his strong,
young face lighting up with pleasure.

“It’s a bargain,” said Bradhurst, extending his hand. “Shake on it.”

Vance grasped his big brown hand, and with that handclasp the
glittering goddess of fortune hovered for an instant over the boy’s
head and touched him with the point of one of her golden wings.

“I hope I haven’t talked you to death, Thornton,” said the man from the
golden West, rising and slapping the lad familiarly on the back; “but
as it is lunch hour, I think we may as well go down to the dining-room
and have a bite.”

“I second the motion,” laughed Vance, getting on his feet.

“The motion having been duly made and seconded, I declare it carried,
and this meeting stands adjourned pro tempore.”



Vance Thornton and his new friend William Bradhurst, the many-times
millionaire, expected to reach Chicago over the P. C. C. and St.
L. railroad at about seven o’clock on the morning following their
departure from the Missouri junction town.

Their calculations were correct, and the train was entering the Union
Depot, corner of Adams and Canal streets, when Jared Whitemore, after a
visit to the Chicago National Bank, where he had received and perused
Vance’s last letter, mailed after his departure from Elevatorville, was
ascending to his office in the Rookery building.

Bessie Brown looked up as Mr. Whitemore entered the outer office, so
also did Mr. Vyce, the bookkeeper.

Both noticed that their employer looked unusually stern.

The assistant bookkeeper was out attending to matters that usually fell
to Vance to transact.

Without looking either to the right or left, Mr. Whitemore entered his
private room.

Presently Bessie’s electric alarm buzzed, and she hastened into the
boss’ sanctum.

In a few minutes she returned to her machine, copied a short letter
addressed to Jarboe, Willicutt & Co., locked up her notebook and
proceeded to put on her hat, an unusual circumstance at that hour.

“Are you going out, Miss Brown?” inquired Mr. Vyce in some surprise.

“Yes, sir,” answered Bessie coldly.

“Rather early for lunch, is it not?” he asked, coming to the end of his
desk and regarding her movements curiously.

“I am not going to lunch.”

“Then you are going out on business for Mr. Whitemore, I take it?”

Bessie made no answer, but having got her hat on straight, she
deliberately walked to the outer door and passed into the corridor.

“You seem to be putting on a whole lot of airs with me, young lady,”
snarled the bookkeeper to the empty office; “all of a sudden, too.
You haven’t spoken a civil word to me since that young cub Thornton
went away on confidential business for the old man. I shall make it
my business to take you down a peg or two. If I am not mistaken in
my calculations, you’ll be looking for a new job before long, Bessie
Brown--you and that young imp, curse him! If I can keep you both out of
the financial district you may depend upon my exertions to that effect.”

At that moment his alarm went off, and sticking his pen into the rack,
he walked into the private office.

“Sit down, Mr. Vyce,” said the big corn operator curtly. “You have been
in my employ a matter of six years, I think?”

“About that time,” replied the bookkeeper, rather taken back by the
question, which bore a fatally significant bearing.

“During the last three years you have enjoyed a considerable degree of
my confidence, which has, if anything, increased since the first of the
year. How have you returned this trust I reposed in you, sir?”

“How, sir?” faltered the bookkeeper, his guilty conscience flying into
his sallow face. “Why----”

“Mr. Vyce, for some weeks past I have had reason to believe that some
one conversant with certain plans of mine was giving information to the
clique that is opposing me in the market. You are the only one to whom
I have opened my lips in this office. I have long regarded you as my
right-hand man--a man I thought I could trust.”

“Is it possible that you accuse me, Mr. Whitemore?” asked the
bookkeeper, with an injured air.

“I do accuse you, Mr. Vyce, of playing the part of traitor to my
interests,” said the corn operator sternly.

“But, sir, unless you have some proof it is unfair----”

“I have the words of a certain Mr. Guy Dudley as evidence that you sold
yourself to the pool headed by Jarrett, Palmer & Carrington.”

At the mention of Dudley’s name Mr. Vyce turned as pale as death.

“Guy Dudley!” he exclaimed in a trembling voice. “Why, how could you
have seen him? He is not in Chicago.”

“I know that,” replied the operator sharply. “Perhaps you can inform me
where he is, since you and he appear to be hand in glove.”

“As you have not seen him, how can you say you have his evidence----”

“We will not argue that point. But if you are curious to know how I
obtained my information, I will say that a confidential messenger of
mine ran across your friend Dudley and heard from that gentleman’s lips
enough to convict you of the charge I bring against you. If you have
anything to say in your defence that your conscience would advise you
to bring forward I will listen to you, otherwise I will have to ask you
to bring your connection with this office to an immediate close.”

“You wish me to understand that you have received this information
through Vance Thornton?” asked Mr. Vyce, with compressed lips and
lowering brow.

“I have mentioned no name.”

“But you sent him out West.”

“How do you know that?” asked Mr. Whitemore curtly.

“He has been absent from the office for some ten days, and as those
options of yours were on the point of expiring, I supposed----”

“Isn’t it a fact that you advised Mr. Sidney Carrington at once of
Vance’s absence from this office, and suggested your idea of his
destination and purpose? And don’t you know that Mr. Carrington, Mr.
Dudley, and a woman connected with their office, went to Kansas City
for the express purpose of blocking the boy’s mission by getting
possession of my options by foul means?”

“As you seem predisposed to my guilt, I see no use in making any
answer to your questions. I wish you to understand that I brand your
informant--whether he be Vance Thornton, as I believe, or somebody
else--as a liar.”

Mr. Vyce rose to his feet and walked out of the private room.

He was furious with suppressed passion.

Mr. Whitemore followed him out almost immediately, and went to the
office safe, where he proceeded to unlock a special compartment to
which he only had access.

Edgar Vyce watched him with set white face and venomous eyes.

Suddenly an evil suggestion entered his soul and took lodgment there.

He knew that documents of the greatest moment in connection with the
corn market were deposited in that inner safe.

If he could only get possession of them he could make his own terms
with the pool in whose interests he had practically lost his position.

If he could get possession of them!

There was nobody in the office at that moment but he and Mr. Whitemore.


For a moment the blood congealed around his heart, and he clutched at
the desk to support himself.

The corn operator was about to relock the steel door.

It was now or never if he was to do anything.

Without waiting for the fiendish suggestion to cool he seized a heavy
ruler and, with a muttered imprecation, sprang at the operator from

Mr. Whitemore heard him and gave a startled glance backward.

But he was at the infuriated man’s mercy.


The ruler descended on the old operator’s head, and he went down on the
carpet like a stricken ox at the shambles.

At that identical instant Vance Thornton, dusty and travel-stained,
appeared at the office door.

He was a witness of the murderous attack.

With a cry of horror he sprang forward to aid his now insensible

“You here!” cried Vyce, turning on him with the rage and despair of a
man detected in the commission of a desperate crime. “You shall never
live to tell the story.”

In a moment they had grappled in a terrible struggle.

The boy, encumbered by his light overcoat, was at a disadvantage.

The bookkeeper was strong, agile and desperate.

They swayed to and fro within the brass railings near the safe, Vyce
trying to get a grip on Vance’s throat.

At length the bookkeeper succeeded in tripping Thornton so that he fell
across the railing, and then he began to pound the boy over the head
and face with his fist.

The result was now no longer in doubt, for Vyce clearly had the upper

He intended to kill the lad, for he hated him as only such a malignant
nature can hate.

But fate willed it otherwise, else this story would not have been

The outer door suddenly opened, and Bessie Brown appeared in the

With dilated eyes she looked a moment on the scene.

She recognized Vance Thornton and the awful situation he was in.

Uttering a piercing scream that echoed through the corridors, Bessie
seized the first thing that came to her hand, which happened to be a
cane forgotten by a morning visitor, and jumped to Vance’s assistance.



The appearance of Bessie on the scene altered the state of affairs

Vyce realized that the scales had turned against him, and that if he
expected to evade the consequences of his rash actions he had not a
moment to lose.

With a bitter curse he cast the half-stunned boy from him, grabbed his
hat and coat, and started for the door.

Vance had fallen to the floor, and Bessie, paying no further attention
to the bookkeeper, ran to the boy, and lifting his head in her arms,
begged him to speak to her.

As Vyce passed hurriedly out into the corridor he brushed against two
clerks from an adjacent office who had been attracted to the spot by
the girl’s scream.

Before he reached the stairway he ran against others.

In fact, the entire floor had by this time been alarmed, and a score of
men were hurrying toward Mr. Whitemore’s office.

“What’s the excitement about, Mr. Vyce?” asked the elevator boy as the
bookkeeper pushed himself into the descending cage, which had stopped
at his signal.

“An accident has happened to Mr. Whitemore,” he answered in a hoarse
voice. “I’m going for a doctor.”

By this ruse he managed to effect his escape from the building.

In the meantime, while the office was filling with excited people
anxious to find out what had occurred, Vance gradually recovered

As soon as he could sit up Bessie got him a glass of water, which he
swallowed greedily.

Then he got on his feet.

“Thanks, Bessie; I feel all right now. Don’t crowd in here, gentlemen,”
he said, waving back the mob.

“What’s happened to Mr. Whitemore?” asked a stout broker, peering over
the railing at the unconscious corn operator.

“He’s been hurt,” answered Vance. “I’d be obliged to you, Mr. Bradley,
if you will come inside and help me get him into his private office.”

At that moment the assistant bookkeeper returned, and was, of course,
astonished to see such a crowd and commotion in the place.

“You back, Vance?” he ejaculated. “What’s occurred here?”

“Trouble,” replied the boy shortly. “Go out and fetch a doctor for Mr.
Whitemore. I’m afraid he’s seriously injured.”

Vance and the stout broker having carried the corn operator into his
sanctum, they, with Bessie’s help, tried to bring the insensible man to

“Looks as if he had been struck by some heavy, blunt instrument,”
remarked Broker Bradley, examining the jagged wound on Mr. Whitemore’s

“He was hit with the heavy office ruler,” said Vance soberly.

“Indeed!” exclaimed the broker in surprise. “How did that happen?”

“I will tell you, but for the present I hope you will let it go no

In the fewest words possible the boy told him what he had seen as he
entered the office; also how he had been attacked by Vyce, and but for
Bessie’s arrival would probably have been fatally injured.

“The scoundrel! He must have been crazy!”

“Not at all,” replied Vance. “I can easily understand how it came
about; but for the present it is better I should say nothing on the
subject. Mr. Whitemore will know how to deal with him when he recovers.”

“The police ought to be notified. I don’t like the looks of Mr.
Whitemore. He is a long time coming to.”

“We shall have a physician here soon,” said Vance.

“He breathes very hard,” said Bessie anxiously.

She had been bathing the operator’s face and chafing his temples and
hands with no satisfactory results.

In a few minutes the assistant bookkeeper appeared with a doctor, who
was immediately taken into the private office.

Vance took advantage of this opportunity to clear the outer office of
those drawn there by curiosity and other reasons.

He restored the ruler to its original position, locked the private
compartment of the safe and put the key in his pocket.

Then he returned to the private room in time to see his employer sit up
with some difficulty.

The physician looked serious, as if he did not like the aspect of the

“He had better be removed to his home at once and his regular doctor
sent for. His condition will not bear trifling with.”

Mr. Whitemore’s eyes rested on Vance.

He beckoned him to his side.

“I am thankful you are back,” he whispered with great difficulty. “I’m
afraid I’m in a bad way. I’ve been struck down at a critical moment.
I depend on you to look after the office. See my brokers. All my
important papers are in the inner compartment of the safe. Write an
order that I empower you to act for me until further notice and I will
sign it.”

“Don’t lose a moment in doing it, young man,” said Broker Bradley, who
was supporting the stricken corn operator. “He seems to be growing weak

Vance drew up the paper, which was signed with great trouble by Mr.
Whitemore and witnessed by Broker Bradley and Bessie.

“Now the check-book,” he gasped feebly. “I will sign in blank. Fill
it up by and bye with the amount of my entire balance at the Chicago

“He has wonderful confidence in you, Thornton,” Mr. Bradley said, in
great astonishment.

But the check was fated never to be signed.

As the pen was placed between the old corn operator’s fluttering
fingers he uttered a sudden groan, his head fell back, and he became
unconscious once more.

In this state he was taken home.

Under these considerations Vance saw that the responsibility of
notifying the police rested on him.

Accordingly, he visited headquarters and interviewed the chief of

Detectives were at once furnished with an accurate description of Edgar
Vyce and despatched to hunt him up and arrest him.

Vance then visited the offices of Jarboe, Willicutt & Co., in the Board
of Trade building, and explained the situation.

Mr. Jarboe, the head of the firm, was very much concerned over the news.

“The affair will be printed in all the afternoon papers and will
certainly have a bad effect on the market. With Mr. Whitemore down and
out the Jarrett, Palmer & Carrington crowd will have a clean sweep. In
which case Mr. Whitemore’s losses will be immense. It is very bad, very
bad indeed,” said Mr. Jarboe, shaking his head dismally.

“I have authority to act for Mr. Whitemore,” said Vance, producing the
paper which had been signed by the stricken corn operator.

“That’s all right as far as it goes,” said Mr. Jarboe. “It gives you
the right to act for Mr. Whitemore, but what can you do without money,
even supposing you to be capable of intelligent action on the big
interests involved?”

“You are right, Mr. Jarboe; I’m afraid my hands are tied. Mr. Whitemore
intended to transfer his Chicago National balance to me by check, but
he lapsed into insensibility at the critical moment.”

“Is that really the fact?” asked the senior partner, looking his

“Mr. George Bradley was present when Mr. Whitemore asked for his
check-book and expressed his intention.”

“Well,” said the broker, “such a mark of confidence in your honesty and
business capacity is remarkable. It is true I have lately heard him
speak about you in terms of the greatest praise, but--however, it is
useless to discuss the matter. He was prevented from signing the check,
you say, so you cannot touch a cent of Mr. Whitemore’s money, even if
your handling of that money would save him from ruin.”

“True,” admitted Vance dejectedly.

“I will have to consult with my partners as to what is best to be done
under the circumstances,” said Mr. Jarboe, “and will advise you as soon
as possible. We recognize your authority in the premises, and of course
can make no move unless authorized by you in writing.”

“The bear pool will certainly try to break the market,” said Vance.

“Undoubtedly. Corn is high, and, but for this unfortunate affair,
likely to go higher. Mr. Whitemore’s holdings have dominated the market
and controlled the price. He has stood ready to buy every bushel
offered. Probably half the visible supply of corn stored in the Kansas
and Nebraska elevators is owned by him--a fact you should be familiar
with, as you have just been out in that part of the county in his
interest. Jarrett, Palmer & Carrington most likely have a quantity of
grain which they have been holding back for a coup. Mr. Whitemore has
suspected its existence, but has failed to discover any evidence to
prove the fact. All reports point to the contrary supposition.”

“I have thrown a little light on that point, Mr. Jarboe,” said Vance.

“What do you mean?”

“Mr. Whitemore directed me to investigate the true state of the corn
situation at Elevatorville, Missouri.”


“There are five elevators in that place. They have been reported out of
business temporarily.”

“So I understand. Are they not?”

“Possibly they may be,” replied Vance, “but all the same Jarrett,
Palmer & Carrington have five million bushels of corn stored in them at
this moment.”

“Five million bushels?” almost gasped Mr. Jarboe.

“Yes, sir--five million bushels.”

“If this is the fact,” said Mr. Jarboe, greatly excited, “we are beaten
to a standstill. Without money we cannot take a dollar of that corn
which the pool will throw on the market at once, now they have learned
of Mr. Whitemore’s misfortune. Thornton, as sure as you sit there,
there will be a panic in the corn pit to-morrow morning.”



Vance returned to the Rookery Building in a very depressed state of

His interview with Mr. Jarboe seemed to indicate that nothing short of
absolute ruin now faced his employer--the old man who at that moment
lay at his home almost at the point of death.

The afternoon papers contained an account of Mr. Whitemore’s
misfortune, and hinted at its probable bearing on the next day’s corn

Several reporters were waiting to interview Vance on his return.

To these gentlemen he was courteous but extremely reticent.

He insisted that the published reports were grossly exaggerated, and
put as bright a complexion on the situation as he could.

But he was up against the fact that other reporters had visited Mr.
Whitemore’s residence and had learned that his condition was critical.

“Poor Mr. Whitemore,” said Bessie, with tears in her eyes, “it is awful
to think he may never recover from that cruel blow.”

“Perhaps it will be as well he does not,” said Vance gloomily.

“Why, Vance!” exclaimed Bessie in unfeigned surprise. “What do you

“I mean, Bessie, that his absence from the office at this time spells
ruin in capital letters.”

“But he has put you in charge of everything,” said Bessie, whose
confidence in Vance’s abilities was supreme.

“But I can’t do a thing without money. I should need a great deal of

“He intended to sign a check for you,” she said, “but----”

“Exactly, but he was unable to do it.”

“Why couldn’t I go to his house,” she said suddenly. “He may have
recovered his senses. Give me the check-book. If the thing is possible
I will get his signature and bring it back to you.”

“Bessie, you’re an angel!” cried Vance, his face lighting up with a new
hope. “What a chump I am not to have thought of that! The fact of the
matter is, Mr. Jarboe’s view of the situation knocked me endwise. I
ought to go myself instead of sending you, but I have lots to do here,
and I guess you’ll do as well.”

So Bessie took the check-book and started for Michigan avenue, on the
South Side.

While she was absent Vance brought all of his employer’s documents
relating to corn matters from the safe to the inner office, and sat
down to study them in connection with printed reports and other sources
of information he found on Mr. Whitemore’s desk.

It was nearly dark when Bessie returned.

Vance saw at once from her face that she had failed in her mission.

“You did not get his signature?” he said anxiously.

She shook her head sadly.

“It is feared by his physicians that Mr. Whitemore may die before
morning,” she said. “He has not recovered consciousness at any time
since he was taken home. I left the check-book, after explaining
matters to Mrs. Whitemore, and she said if he regains his senses she
will try to get her husband to sign.”

“Thank you, Bessie,” replied Vance gratefully. “You have done all that
I could have done myself under the circumstances. I have been studying
the situation, and feel confident if I had enough money I could save
Mr. Whitemore. Unless I get it before business opens on the Board of
Trade in the morning I fear it will be too late.”

There was a painful silence for some moments.

“I am glad you have returned, Vance,” said Bessie at length. “I don’t
know what I should have done under these conditions had you still been
away. I think I should have gone home at once and stayed there.”

“It would have been harder for you, I suppose. I hope we shall always
be such good friends, Bessie,” said the boy earnestly.

“I’m sure there is no reason why we should not be,” she replied.
“Now you must tell me where you have been, unless, of course, it’s a
business secret.”

“I have been West on important business for Mr. Whitemore. As soon as I
get the chance I will tell you a good many interesting particulars of
my trip. It is time now that you went home for the day.”

“Why, how did you get that scar on your forehead?” she asked, laying
her fingers gently on a small abrasion of the skin.

“That,” he replied, with a little laugh; “oh, I got that down in
Missouri yesterday morning while butting in against a runaway team.
I saved a man’s life and made a good friend. His name is William
Bradhurst, and he’s a millionaire eleven times over. He--why, by

Vance stopped and stared at the girl.

“Eleven millions!” he muttered. “Eleven millions in cash and
securities, that’s what he said.”

“Vance, what are you talking about?” asked Bessie nervously.

“Eleven million dollars! Why, Great Caesar! If I could induce him to
back me up, with Mr. Whitemore’s enormous corn holdings I should win
out. Mr. Whitemore would be saved financially, while Bradhurst himself
would almost double his capital, for if we cornered the market--and
with the start the boss has made we ought to be able to do it--we could
surely control the price. We could easily buy up every bushel of that
five million at Elevatorville. That would keep that lot from being
moved to Chicago until we chose to have it put in motion. With scarcely
any corn in transport the market would soar to--good gracious, I dare
not think of it. I haven’t a moment to lose. I must see Mr. Bradhurst
at once.”

And Vance, for the first time in his life utterly ignoring Bessie,
rushed for his hat.

“Vance--Vance!” she cried, running after him. “You haven’t gone crazy,
have you?”

“Crazy!” he cried almost fiercely, turning full upon her. “Yes, I have!
I’m crazy--crazy with a scheme that means millions to us. Go home.
I can’t see you to the car. I’ve got to go to the Grand Pacific on

“Vance!” and then Bessie broke down.

“Why, what are you crying about?” he said with an abruptness unusual
with him.

“Because (sob) you are so (sob) rough with me.”

He looked at her a moment without speaking, and then seemed to realize
how he had been acting.

“Forgive me, Bessie, for making you cry; but I’ve thought of a plan by
which I hope to save Mr. Whitemore, and perhaps corner the market as
he had started out to do. If I put it through--there, I’m so excited
over the bare idea you must excuse me saying anything more. Everything
depends on my finding Mr. Bradhurst at his hotel to-night, so you
see I mustn’t delay a moment. There, I wouldn’t offend you for the
world,” he continued, as he led her out of the office and locked the
door; and then, as she turned her tear-stained face before him in mute
forgiveness, he quite forgot himself and actually kissed her.

“Oh, Vance!” she exclaimed, blushing violently.

It is possible the boy was somewhat astonished at his own audacity,
but, if the truth must be told, he was not a bit repentant, and would
have repeated the performance if he had dared.

Twenty minutes later Vance was in Bradhurst’s apartments in the Grand
Pacific Hotel, talking with a purpose and earnestness which he had
never before displayed in his life.

Bradhurst had been looking about him for something in the line of
business that would engage his attention, for the mere idea of spending
his wealth simply to amuse himself by leading a life of ease was
extremely distasteful to him.

He was a man of active habits and a busy brain, and the boy’s plan,
which Vance laid down with convincing directness, appealed to his fancy.

“Come over to the office, Mr. Bradhurst, and I will show you the
documents and the proofs. I can there better explain what has been
done, what our position is to-night, and what we shall be able to
accomplish. I have been studying Board of Trade methods ever since I
entered Mr. Whitemore’s office. With the grasp on the market I have at
this moment, through my employer’s holdings, I see my way clear, with
your backing to corner the product and force the price to almost any
figure within reason. In a week the Jarrett, Palmer & Carrington pool
won’t have a leg to stand on.”

“All right; I’ll go over with you, Vance. But before we go we’re going
to have dinner. You look as though you needed a square meal.”

“I’ve scarcely had a bite all day,” admitted the boy; “but I don’t feel
hungry at that.”

“That’s because you’re all worked up over this matter and the
unfortunate affair at your office. Take a wash and we’ll go down to the

The clock in Mr. Whitemore’s office struck the hour of midnight when
the conference between Vance and William Bradhurst came to an end.

“If for no other reason than because I owe you a good turn I’ll see you
through this, my boy,” said the big man cheerfully. “But in addition to
that, I see the opportunity for both of us to make a million or more

“You are risking the money, Mr. Bradhurst, and the profits over and
above the figure at which corn closed to-day will rightfully be yours.
I am satisfied to save Mr. Whitemore’s interest as it now stands.”

“Vance Thornton, I am backing your information and experience with my
money. It is a fair partnership. If we win out the profits are to be
evenly divided, do you understand? Only on that condition will I go in.”

“But,” almost gasped the boy, “the profits may run into----”

“Millions. Exactly. In which case you will be a millionaire at
eighteen. Do you object?”

The boy was too much stunned at the prospect to reply.



Rats, they say, will leave a sinking ship.

Perhaps it would hardly be fair to compare the solid brokerage firm
of Jarboe, Willicutt & Co. with the rodents in question, but Tennyson
Jarboe, after his interview with Vance Thornton and a careful study
of Mr. Whitemore’s condition from the latest reports in the evening
papers, decided, in consultation with his partners, that Jared
Whitemore was as good as done for, both physically and financially.

With five million bushels of corn ready to be shipped to Chicago at
their nod, it was reasonable to expect that the Jarrett, Palmer &
Carrington clique would jump into the pit the next morning and, with
little opposition to fear, hammer the market to pieces.

In the ensuing panic corn would tumble like the famous Humpty Dumpty of
fairy fiction, and it therefore behooved Jarboe, Willicutt & Co., with
the pointer they had got from Vance, to sell a million or so bushels
short for their own private account.

It would be perfectly fair, since Mr. Whitemore’s boyish representative
could do nothing toward stemming the current without money.

So when Vance Thornton reached Mr. Whitemore’s office on the following
morning he found a letter addressed to himself and signed by Mr.
Jarboe, in which that gentleman expressed his regret that the firm saw
no way of saving their old customer from the expected crash unless
something tangible in the way of money was forthcoming, and as this
seemed to be out of the question, Jarboe, Willicutt & Co. could hardly
be expected to execute any further commissions for Mr. Whitemore.

“All right,” exclaimed Vance, coolly; “you have deserted the ship just
a moment too soon for your own good, Mr. Jarboe. I’m only a boy, it is
true, but I’m not taking off my hat to you after that.”

Thrusting the letter in his pocket, he put on his hat again.

“I’ll be back in half an hour,” he said to Bessie.

He rushed over to the Grand Pacific and sent his card up to William

“Read that,” he said to his new friend, handing him Mr. Jarboe’s letter.

Mr. Bradhurst had finished breakfast, and was preparing to go over to
Mr. Whitemore’s office according to arrangements entered into the night

“Cool, I must say,” he remarked, as he handed it back. “Well, what are
you going to do?”

“Get another broker,” replied Vance decidedly.

“Quite right. Have you selected one yet?”

“I have a firm in my eye. It’s young, but I know them both. They’re
square as a die. This deal will be the making of them, and I’m glad to
put it in their way. Come, let us go over to their office. We haven’t
any time to lose to-day.”

Mr. Bradhurst and Vance went to a brokerage office on La Salle street.

It was on the third floor front, and the sign on the door read Fox &

“Hello, Thornton,” was Mr. Fox’s greeting as the boy entered his
private office with his friend. “Glad to see you. Where’ve you been for
the last two weeks, and may I ask how your employer, Mr. Whitemore, is
this morning?”

“I’ve been out of town. As to Mr. Whitemore, the latest reports are
not encouraging. Allow me to introduce you to Mr. William Bradhurst.”

“Glad to know you, Mr. Bradhurst,” said Fox, genially.

“Now, Mr. Fox, I wish your earnest attention. I’m going to put a good
thing in your way,” said the boy in a business-like tone.

“Thanks. All favors thankfully accepted,” and he looked at Mr.
Bradhurst as if he judged he was the good thing suggested.

“Read this,” said Vance, and he handed him the paper which authorized
him to act for Mr. Whitemore.

Mr. Fox read it with some surprise.

“Now read this,” and Vance produced Mr. Jarboe’s letter.

“Phew!” was the broker’s comment after he had perused it.

“Under those circumstances I have decided to employ new brokers. I have
selected Fox & Mason. Mr. Jarboe has made a slight miscalculation.
Instead of having no money, I have a backing representing $11,000,000.”

“What’s that? Say that again, please!” ejaculated Fox in amazement.

Vance repeated the amount.

“Say, you’re not joking, are you?” said Fox with a smile.

“Never more serious in my life,” replied the boy earnestly. “This
gentleman, William Bradhurst, is worth exactly that sum, and he is
backing me. He is ready to give you a check on the Bankers’ National
Bank now to cover my first transaction, which is an order to purchase
any part of five million bushels of corn as soon as it is offered in
the pit this morning.”

“Five million bushels!” exclaimed Fox, staring hard at Vance.

“That’s what I said. Please call up the Bankers’ National on your
’phone and verify my statement. Don’t lose a minute, please.”

Jack Fox, still somewhat bewildered by such an order, did as Vance
requested him, and returned to his desk perfectly satisfied with the

“Now we’ll get down to business,” he said.

And they did.

“After the close of the board to-day come to Mr. Whitemore’s office,
and you will find Mr. Bradhurst and myself on deck. I will then go
over certain plans I have in view and make clearer our future business

Vance and his friend then left, while Fox, after leaving a note for his
partner, seized his hat and made straight for the Board of Trade.

It was twenty minutes past nine when Vance’s broker entered the board

The gong which started business would sound in ten minutes, and already
the floor was filling up, while groups in earnest consultation were to
be seen on the steps of both the wheat and corn pits.

Sid Carrington and Abe Palmer were standing aloof on the steps of the

A triumphant smile played about the mouths of each of these bear

For weeks they had been laying their plans, joining together subtle
schemes for the overthrow of Jared Whitemore, but they had made but
little way against the acute old fox, who had been gradually drawing
together his control of the corn market.

Now the one man they had feared--the man who stood like a stone wall
between them and the accomplishment of all their carefully conceived
plans--had been suddenly put out of the fight.

Their chance had come at last, and they did not intend to do a thing
with the corn market that morning.

Everybody interested was talking about the sudden misfortune which had
occurred to Jared Whitemore, and not one but felt sure that one of the
biggest slumps in the history of the board was about to set in.

Consequently there was a subdued feeling of excitement in the air.

Brokers with their pockets crammed with selling orders constantly came
on the floor, adding to the din.

Eyes were cast frequently and nervously at the clock, noting the slow
crawling of the minute hand toward the half-hour mark.

Representatives from Jarboe, Willicutt & Co. were ready to sell the
minute the gong opened proceedings.

Apparently all bulls had sought cover on this fateful morning.

From the Western Union desks, located in a great railed-in space in
the northwest angle of the floor, came an incessant ticking of the
telegraph sounders, and messenger boys pushed their way hither and
thither across the floor with yellow envelopes in their hands.

From the telephone alcoves sounded the almost continuous ringing of the
call bells.

Suddenly, with startling distinctness, came the single stroke of a
great gong.

Instantly, with a strident roar, the battle was on.

Corn in lots of five thousand was offered at once at half a point below
the previous day’s figures.

Not at first by Carrington and Palmer--they were holding back, like men
whose positions were unassailable.

The attack on corn was begun by the smaller fry, from the outposts, as
it were, of the bear army.

Carrington and Palmer were holding their immense forces in reserve for
the real attack that was to carry everything down before the onslaught.

But the first real surprise developed at once.

Jack Fox, one of the new traders on the board, accepted every bid

He was immediately the center of a furious vortex that hurled corn in a
flood at his head.

But with a confident smile on his face, that soon began to be noted
with some uneasiness by cautious brokers, he welcomed the rush with
open arms.

The result was that the grain began to recover and present a bold front
to the bears.

“What in thunder does this mean?” growled Abe Palmer to his partner.

“Some fool has lost his head, that’s all,” sneered Carrington.

“We’d better get in and send him where he belongs--to the asylum,” said
Palmer with a menacing toss of the head.

Then Palmer and Carrington took a hand, and the excitement grew to
fever heat.

In spite of it all, Jack Fox, calm and serene amid the babel and
confusion, stood firm, and welcomed all selling orders as he would a
much-loved relative.

Around and around the pit went the question: Who is Fox buying for?

Nobody could guess.

Suddenly there dawned the suspicion that Jared Whitemore was still in
the fight.

It must be so.

Who else could be loading up in the face of such adverse conditions?

But the most astonished of all men were Jarboe and Willicutt as the
telephone conveyed the astounding intelligence to their offices.

Already their representatives had, according to orders, sold a million
bushels of grain they did not own, but hoped to be able to get later on
at a low rate. Jack Fox was the buyer of this lot.

Some one had clearly come to Mr. Whitemore’s rescue.

It apparently was some one able to resist the great bear clique.

He must have recovered in time to furnish Vance Thornton with the
sinews of war to carry on the fight until he could get down himself.

If this was true, then Jarboe, Willicutt & Co. had made a big blunder.

Not only had they placed themselves in a bad light with their old
client, but they were liable to face a big loss, since they knew only
too well that if the Whitemore forces were still back of the fight they
stood a poor chance of getting any corn when they wanted it.

So Jarboe hastened to try and square himself.

He made a personal call on Vance.

“I received your letter,” said the boy coldly when the big broker
had been admitted to Mr. Whitemore’s sanctum, where Vance now ruled
supreme. “The only thing for me to do was to hire a new broker. I have
done so. From the looks of things,” he said, with a significant smile,
“I still hold a grip on the market in spite of the Jarrett, Palmer &
Carrington clique.”

Bessie knocked at the door, then entered and laid a slip on the desk
before Vance.

“I have bought over three million bushels this morning, and I am ready
and anxious to take in every grain that may be offered.”

“Great heavens, young man!” exclaimed Mr. Jarboe in utter amazement,
“where have you got the money from to do this? Has Mr. Whitemore come
to his senses and signed his balances over to you?”

“I am obliged to refuse you this information, Mr. Jarboe, as you have
ceased of your own accord to represent me. All I can say is this: I am
at the head of the deal from this on. I control all of Mr. Whitemore’s
holdings. I mean to control the price as he has done. No corn will be
moved east that amounts to anything until I say the word. If you think
you can beat me, Mr. Jarboe, sell a million short and see. Good-day.”



It had been a day of surprise on the Board of Trade.

Instead of the price of corn going on the toboggan it had closed a
couple of points to the good when business ceased for the day.

Everybody was talking about the new factor that had entered the fight.

The newspapers were full of surmises and hints and rumors.

There was no doubt whatever that Mr. Whitemore was out of the running.

Every afternoon paper published an authentic bulletin of his condition,
which was given out by reputable physicians as practically unchanged.

A clot of blood or a bone was pressing on his brain, and the chances
that he would ever recover were extremely doubtful.

Reporters, however, began to nose out the fact that Vance Thornton,
as Mr. Whitemore’s representative, was the power that had made itself
felt that day, and from present indications was likely to continue to
dominate the market.

Already he had gathered in the greater part of the clique’s five
million bushels, which everybody now knew were stored in the elevators
of Elevatorville.

At this rate he would soon have absolute control of corn.

But Jarrett, Palmer & Carrington were not beaten yet, by a long chalk.

All during the rest of the week corn was thrown at Jack Fox and

Every effort was made by the clique to overwhelm the young operator,
but it failed.

The Sunday editions now hailed Vance Thornton as the coming corn king.

His picture was printed on the first page, and a copious account of his
young life up to date was published in double-leaded type to increase
its importance.

Thereafter Mr. Whitemore’s office was filled day after day with eager
traders anxious to gain his ear.

Nobody paid any attention whatever to the personality of William
Bradhurst, who studiously kept himself in the background and watched
with the most profound interest and admiration the working out of the
gigantic deal by his young friend.

“You’re a wonder, Vance,” he said to the boy one day as the two were
getting ready to go to dinner. “A born speculator. Why, I haven’t seen
you ruffled a bit since you took hold of this thing.”

“Yet it takes every minute of my time,” replied Vance, with a smile
that covered the weariness inseparable from the control of the
tremendous forces latent in a line of fifty million bushels of corn.

“Necessarily,” admitted the millionaire, “but, boy, you are stronger,
bigger and shrewder than the great bear clique pitted against you.
You’ve overtopped the whole crowd--the biggest men of the Board of
Trade. A few days more will show the world that you are really the new
corn Monte Christo. A few days more and these bears will wake up to the
fact that the corn they have promised to deliver before they had it in
hand is not to be got, except from you--and at the price you choose to
impose. Jarrett, Palmer, Carrington, and others, not to speak of your
dear friends, Jarboe, Willicutt & Co., will have to pay or go bankrupt.”

“Good gracious, Mr. Bradhurst! That can have only one meaning.”

“Exactly. You will actually have cornered the product.”

“I can’t realize it,” said Vance, pressing his hand to his head. “And
yet that is the very point I have been aiming for. I am in it now up
to my neck--both of us are. Were we beaten at this stage you would be
absolutely ruined. And yet I have never for a moment seen you weaken
when I called for million after million of your money. Do you actually
realize to what extent I have involved you?”

“I do,” replied William Bradhurst coolly. “But I entered this affair on
the principle of the whole hog or none. To do otherwise was to invite
disaster. No halfway measures will answer in a deal of this kind. You
must risk all or better stay out.”

“That’s right. I fear that even Mr. Whitemore would never have
succeeded in doing what we have done. We have half his capital at our
back as it is.”

“By the way, how is Mr. Whitemore now?”

“I believe he will recover after all. He was taken to a sanitarium a
few days ago. He is a wreck at present, and it will be some time before
he recovers his grip again, if he ever does.”

“And that rascally bookkeeper that struck him down has not been

“No. The police have not been able to locate his whereabouts. He may
have fled to Canada. Probably he is hiding out in the wilderness

“Possibly; but you can’t tell. There are hiding places in this city
where, by the aid of confederates, he could lie low in comparative
safety. You know he was working in the interests of the Jarrett, Palmer
& Carrington clique at the start, and but for you taking hold his crime
would have proved of enormous advantage to them. Doesn’t it strike you,
then, that they haven’t deserted him--that his immunity from arrest is
largely due to their influence and pull with their political friends?”

“I didn’t think of that,” replied Vance thoughtfully. “Your idea is
reasonable, I am bound to admit.”

“Some day you may find I have hit the mark,” said Bradhurst

That the millionaire was correct in his deduction Vance Thornton had
reason to know ere many hours passed over his head.

While Bessie’s admiration for Vance now increased daily as she saw how
he controlled the vast business enterprise he had called into action,
still, as he seemed to drift farther and farther away from her--for
he had little time now to talk to her, except upon cold matters of
business--her gentle, loving heart grew sore and despondent within her.

She felt that she had lost something that might never again be hers.

And the reflection grieved her to the depths of her nature.

Yet the morning and evening smile she daily bestowed on him was just as
bright, just as winsome as ever.

Her sorrow was her own.

It was not for Vance to suspect what was passing in that true little

Vance Thornton had returned from his lunch and was shut up in his
private office, as usual.

In the last thirty-six hours corn had advanced three cents and the
market was in a turmoil.

Bessie appeared at the door of the inner sanctum.

“There’s an old man out here who wants to see you on business of
importance. He wouldn’t give his name.”

“Very well; let him come in.”

It was a noticeable fact that the pretty stenographer did not address
the busy young operator as Vance any more; and the boy was too much
preoccupied these days to observe the omission.

He was a curious character, the man who entered and stood humbly bowing
to the young Napoleon of La Salle street, as many of the dailies called
Vance in their scare-heads.

He was not exactly seedy, though he certainly was not well dressed.

He was bent over, as if like Atlas he had been condemned to carry the
world on his shoulders, but had forgotten to bring it along on this

But he had extremely bright eyes, which belied his other marks of age,
and they peered out in a restive manner from under a pair of heavy,
beetling brows.

“Take a seat, sir,” said Vance, pointing with his pen to a chair. “How
can I serve you? Make your errand brief, for time with me is money.”

“Do you want to buy any corn?” asked the venerable visitor in a shrill,
squeaky voice.

“How much have you for sale?” asked the boy carelessly.

“Six million bushels.”

“What!” ejaculated Vance, wheeling about in his chair and facing the
old man.

“Six million bushels.”

“Is this a dream? I have no time for nonsense,” and Vance wondered if
he was not up against a lunatic or a crank.

“You will find this no dream, but stern reality, Vance Thornton,” said
his visitor in a familiar voice, sitting erect.

Tearing off his snow-white whiskers and pushing back his old sunburned
felt hat, he sat revealed as Edgar Vyce.

It cannot be denied that the boy operator was thoroughly astounded at
the rascal’s audacity in thus venturing back on the scene of his crime.

But he recovered his presence of mind in a moment.

His fingers moved to one of the electric buttons on the end of his desk.

“Stop!” commanded Vyce, in a low, concentrated tone, raising one hand
which held a brown, cylinder-like missile. “Move another inch and I’ll
blow you and your desk into La Salle street, and the wall with you.”

Vance instinctively paused.

“That’s right. I see you’ve got some common-sense,” said Vyce grimly.

“What brought you here?” asked the boy, playing for time.



“You observe this cylinder? It contains a small stick of dynamite. If
you do what I tell you it goes back into my pocket; if you refuse--the
newspapers will have a new sensation, that’s all.”

“You seem to forget,” said Vance, coolly, “that dynamite is like an
overloaded shotgun--it works at both ends. If you drop that thing in
this room there isn’t a ghost of a chance for you to escape yourself.”

“That needn’t worry you,” retorted the rascal angrily.

“What do you want of me, anyway?” asked the boy impatiently.

“I want you to sign that paper.”

He pushed a document to Vance.

It was a delivery slip for six million bushels of corn, made out in
favor of Sidney Carrington.

“So that’s your game, is it?” said Vance Thornton slowly.

“Yes, sir; that’s my game.”

“Much obliged, Mr. Vyce. You’ve shown me the men who are at your back.”

“Precious little good that will do you. You’ve got to sign that paper
and swear to drop out of the market, or----” and Edgar Vyce made a
significant movement with his arm.

“That’s your ultimatum, is it?”

“That’s what it is.”

“Very well; I’ll do neither.”

“Are you mad?” exclaimed Vyce, furiously, feeling that the object of
his visit was a failure.

“Not at all,” replied the boy calmly, though every fibre of his body
shook inwardly at the probable risk he was facing. “But do you fancy I
would put myself into the power of any crank, not to say scoundrel like
yourself, that chose to call and threaten me into doing something he
wanted. Not on your life!”

“I don’t see how you can help yourself!” sneered Vyce, eyeing him

“Look behind you and you will see.”

Vance’s tone and manner threw the villain off his guard an instant.

He started up in his chair and looked around, as though he expected
some one stood behind him.

Before he realized the trap that had been sprung on him Vance had
seized and wrenched the cylinder of pressed dynamite from his hand.

“Now, Edgar Vyce, you’re my prisoner.”

He drew a small revolver from his pocket and covered the scoundrel.

Fifteen minutes later Edgar Vyce was in the hands of the Chicago
police, and ultimately he was tried, convicted and sent to the prison
at Joliet for a long term.



That same afternoon Abe Palmer and Sid Carrington were closeted
together in their private office on La Salle street.

Business on the Board of Trade was over for the day.

The former held a copy of an afternoon paper in his hand.

“That bluff didn’t work, I see, and Edgar Vyce is in jail,” he said

“I see he is. I took him for a cleverer man than that,” replied
Carrington, with a muttered curse. “However, we’ve got to get him clear
somehow, or he’s liable to blab, which would never do at all.”

“I should say not. It would simply ruin us.”

“It would for a fact. We would have to get out of business here for
good and all. I’ll see the leader of my district to-night.”

“It looks as though we’ll have to throw up our hands, anyway, Sid,”
said Palmer, with a moody glance at the decorated ceiling.

“Throw up nothing!” growled Carrington, with an impatient wave of his
right hand, on the little finger of which glowed a valuable ruby ring.

“It’s easy to say that,” returned Abe, “but I don’t see any chance of a
turn. The pool is six million bushels short, and the market remains as
stiff as a poker.”

“Suppose it is. How can we tell but that this infernal young monkey,
Vance Thornton, may be at the end of his tether also? It has taken an
enormous amount of money for him to swing this deal. What I want to
know is where did he get it?”

“That is what has bothered us right along. With all our sagacity and
our pet spy system we have not been able to find out.”

“No, we haven’t. Who would ever have supposed that boy would turn out
such a hard proposition?”

“He’s a smart kid. He can’t be more than eighteen. Why, it’s my opinion
he could give old Whitemore points in the business, as foxy as that old
codger was.”

“It goes against my grain to give in to that boy,” said Carrington

“Well, if you can see any way out of it I’ll be glad to hear of it. The
fact remains that it has become exceedingly difficult lately to get
corn at all. Nobody seems to be selling. Why, to-day even the bulls
were bidding against one another, with no sales under a full point

“That’s right,” admitted the elegantly dressed Sid.

“When we sell the price will go down a bit, but the moment we try to
recover there seems to be no corn for sale, and the market rebounds
like a rubber ball.”

“It certainly is rotten,” replied Carrington, in a disgusted tone.

“There’s only one thing I see to do,” said Abe Palmer, in a
confidential whisper.

“And that is?” asked Sid, eyeing him closely.

“To get out ourselves the easiest way we can and let the ring go to

“Which means at the least calculation a loss of about half a million
apiece, not to speak of going back on the bunch. If they should find
out they’d never forgive us.”

“We’re not going to tell ’em. At any rate, if we’re going to save
anything from the wreck it’ll have to be every man for himself; do you

“All right, Abe. I daresay you’re right. That boy seems to have got us
at last where the shoe pinches. But I hate to give up the fight.”

“So do I; but if we hold on much longer we won’t be able to get out at
all, except on Thornton’s own terms--and what they will be the Lord
only knows. I don’t believe he has any great love for either of us,
especially you, since I understand he got on to the true inwardness of
the Kansas City job you put up on him.”

“If I’d only dreamed of what was coming I’d have pickled him for keeps
that time,” said Sid, smiting the arm of his chair savagely.

“You wouldn’t have killed him, Sid?” the other said, aghast.

“Oh, no. I’m no murderer. But there are ways of putting a chap out of
the way for a time that answer quite as well.”

So it was arranged between these two gentlemen before they went home
for the day that they should quietly begin to cover their own personal
sales--their share of the six million bushels sold by the ring--without
any reference to the obligations they owed their partners in distress.

Jarboe, Willicutt & Co., however, still hung on, hoping for a turn in
the market at any moment.

Long ago they had clearly seen that it was not Jared Whitemore who was
backing Vance Thornton.

As day by day Jack Fox, Vance’s known representative, settled promptly
for the corn he had bought, they wondered how long his resources would
hold out.

Certainly there was a limit to everything in this world, and when Vance
reached his, why then--at that stage of his reflections Mr. Jarboe
always smiled grimly.

But as day succeeded day, that desirable point never seemed to be

Thornton met all his engagements to the minute, and Jack Fox continued
to wear the same confident smile he had sported the morning he first
went into the pit to buck against the bear traders.

The same thorn annoyed Mr. Jarboe that bothered the rest of the

Where did Vance’s money come from?

For good and sufficient reasons, insisted on by Thornton after the
first week of their partnership, William Bradhurst had kept discreetly
in the background, meeting Vance only when necessary, and then each
time at a different rendezvous.

No one who saw Bradhurst lounging at times about the office door of the
Grand Pacific Hotel would have suspected that impenetrable man had a
dollar at stake in any precarious scheme.

Yet there were moments when he had reason to fear that even his eleven
millions, now almost swallowed up in the insatiable maw of the corn
market, would not be enough to stave off ultimate disaster.

But never for a moment did he lose confidence in the boy who was making
such a shrewd fight against the combined bear interests of the Board of

Mr. Bradhurst had come to be a frequent visitor at the Thornton home,
where he had been introduced by Vance the evening following their
partnership arrangement.

Mrs. Thornton and Elsie received him with all the courtesy that
well-bred people are wont to extend to a warm personal friend of the
son of the family.

To a man who for eight years had been debarred from the ideals of
civilization the pleasant home picture was restful and refreshing.

Possibly the lovely personality of Elsie Thornton had much to do with

At any rate, he found it agreeable to go there often.

“We see so little of Vance now,” Elsie said to him one evening as they
sat together in the pleasant sitting-room. “You can scarcely imagine
how much mother and I miss him,” and a tear-drop glistened in her eye.

“I presume you hold me largely responsible for this change in your
domestic circle,” said Bradhurst, with almost a feeling of remorse.

“No, Mr. Bradhurst, we do not hold you responsible,” she answered,
favoring him with such a bright glance that his blood quickened in his

“And yet, by backing him in this enterprise I have actually kept him
away from all the comforts of his home.”

“We do not look at it in that way. Rather we are grateful to you for
what you have done and are still doing for Vance.”

“I am glad to see that you do not regard me as an undesirable factor in
the case,” said the millionaire in a tone of pleasure.

“No, indeed,” she answered softly. “With his growing responsibilities
Vance seems to have ceased to be a boy any longer. Not that we regret
the change, but it would have pleased us better if the change had been
more gradual.”

“I can understand your feelings,” said Bradhurst sympathetically. “But
the end is almost in sight, Miss Elsie. It seems to be only a question
of a few days now when Vance’s control of the corn market will be so
complete that the whole country will recognize it.”

“Isn’t it wonderful to think what he has accomplished?” cried Elsie,
enthusiastically. “Why every day the papers have something to say about
him. This morning the Record referred to him as the ‘young corn king.’
Think of that!”

“And so he will be, I daresay, inside of forty-eight hours. Your
brother has a wonderful head for speculative ventures. For that reason,
and because I owe my life to his pluck and presence of mind, I decided
to see him through, if it took the last dollar I possessed.”

“You were very good--very generous! We can never thank you enough for
the interest you have taken in Vance.”

“I hope you won’t let the matter worry you any, Miss Elsie,” said
Bradhurst, with a glance of unfeigned admiration for the girl.

She noticed the look and dropped her gaze to the carpet.

From that moment an increasing sympathy grew between the two.

Elsie recognized and was grateful for what Mr. Bradhurst was doing for
her brother, whom she dearly loved, while the millionaire found a new
pleasure in talking to and encouraging the lovely girl for whom he was
beginning to feel a warm regard.



It was a bright, sunny morning, thirty-six hours later, that William
Bradhurst came downstairs and purchased the morning paper at the
news-stand in the lobby of the Grand Pacific.

He opened it and cast his eye rapidly over the first page.

A leading article arrested his attention.

It was headed “A Corner in Corn.”

“By George!” he exclaimed, with no little excitement. “At last!”

On crowded La Salle street a few hours later everybody was talking
about it.

There could no longer be any doubt that Vance Thornton, the Boy Corn
King, had got hold of every bit of corn there was;

That he had actually cornered the visible supply.

That a mere boy could do this was simply astounding.

That he actually had done so was not now denied.

The news, fully verified, had by this time been wired all over America.

Vance Thornton’s name was that morning on every business man’s lips
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of

Traders who must buy the grain to fulfil their contracts now began to
call at Mr. Whitemore’s office in the Rookery Building.

They inquired deferentially for the boy who held the market in his
hand, and bowed to his mandate when he dictated the price.

Among the brokers who dropped in that morning was Mr. Jarboe, the
dignified head of the firm of Jarboe, Willicutt & Co.

“I’ll see him,” said Vance when his name was handed in.

“Good-morning, Mr. Thornton,” said the trader, as politely as his
feelings would permit.

“Good-morning, Mr. Jarboe. What can I do for you?”

“The fact is, young man,” answered the broker, hesitatingly, “we are
short to you one million bushels at (here he named a figure) a bushel.
I want to know how much it is going to cost us to get out of your

To get out those words was worse than if he had to swallow a bitter

Vance looked at him with a quizzical smile.

“It seems to me it would have been better for you if you had stuck by
the sinking ship, Mr. Jarboe. You see, she was only waterlogged for the
moment, and a golden pump put her on an even keel again.”

“All men make mistakes,” responded Mr. Jarboe abruptly. “What is the

“In consideration of your long connection with Mr. Whitemore,” said
Vance, “I’ll let you off easy,” and he named a price.

“Vance Thornton,” said Mr. Jarboe, his dignity suddenly melting
away, “you have acted like a man. Allow me to shake you by the hand
and congratulate you on the wonderful ability you have displayed
in engineering so gigantic a deal. I am proud to acknowledge your
acquaintance, and I may say the same for my partners. Instead of
crowing over a firm of solid old traders whom you have caught in the
toils, and squeezing us badly, as you have the power to do, you have
acted with the utmost fairness. Our loss is considerable, it is true,
but no more than we deserve under the circumstances. The only favor
I will ask of you is that you will keep this a secret. It would be a
blow to Mr. Whitemore, who I understand is nearly recovered from his
trouble, and expects soon to be back among us, if he should learn the
true facts of the case.”

“It shall go no further, Mr. Jarboe,” Vance assured him.

“Thank you,” and Mr. Jarboe took out his check-book and signed a check
covering the sum due to Vance.

Then, with a bow and another handshake, he left the office.

It was closing-up time.

All the working force of the office had gone out but Miss Brown, who
was adjusting her hat preparatory to her departure.

Vance appeared at his office door.

“Bessie,” he said, “I’d like to see you.”

She entered the private room, and stood before him in readiness to take
any order he wished to give her.

It was not the old Bessie, but the new one, who always addressed Vance
now as Mr. Thornton.

“Bessie,” said Vance, taking both her hands suddenly in his, “aren’t
you glad?”

She looked at him in surprise, and then her gaze dropped.

“Aren’t you glad it is all over?” he repeated eagerly, in the old
voice that seemed to come to her like an echo from the dead past.

“I don’t know,” she answered, in a trembling tone.

“You don’t know?” he said, almost plaintively. “Don’t you care?”

She half turned away from him, but Vance seized her by the shoulders
and swung her back again.

“It is true that I’m not the same old Vance in some respects.
I’m to-day the king of the corn market, and I’m worth several
millions--just how many I can’t say as yet. I went into this thing
because it was my duty to try and save Mr. Whitemore’s interests. If
I’ve done more than that it was because once I took hold I couldn’t let
go. I had to stick to my post--sink or swim on the ultimate result.
Well, I’ve come out ahead. The papers call me the Corn King, and they
tell the truth. But Bessie,” and tears came to his eyes as he spoke the
words, “I’d give every dollar of my winnings--every cent I have made in
this deal--to hear you call me Vance once more as you used to do, to
know that you still think of me as you once did.”

There was a pause, and then the girl gradually lifted her eyes to his

“Vance!” she said softly.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before Mr. Whitemore returned to his office a well man again he heard
enough about that famous corner in corn to feel assured that Vance
Thornton was the smartest boy who ever walked in shoe leather.

The full particulars of the deal he learned as soon as he and Vance
came together again, and the result was that the sign on the office
door was altered to Whitemore & Thornton, and nobody was surprised when
they saw it.

That fall there was a quiet wedding at the Thornton home, on which
occasion Elsie Thornton became Mrs. William Bradhurst, and Vance was
the best man.

Bessie Brown was among those present, and the pronounced attention she
received and accepted with pleasure from Vance Thornton seemed to augur
well for another wedding at no very distant day, when the sweet little
stenographer might be expected to make happy for life the boy who had
effected A CORNER IN CORN.


       *       *       *       *       *

Read “A GAME OF CHANCE; OR, THE BOY WHO WON OUT,” which will be the
next number (4) of “Fame and Fortune Weekly.”

       *       *       *       *       *

SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If
you cannot obtain them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or
postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW
YORK, and you will receive the copies you order by return mail.





  314 Red Light Dick, The Engineer Prince;
      or, The Bravest Boy on the Railroad.
      By Jas. C. Merritt.

  315 Leadville Jack, the Game Cock of the West.
      By An Old Scout.

  316 Adrift in the Sea of Grass;
      or, The Strange Voyage of a Missing Ship.
      By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

  317 Out of the Gutter; or, Fighting the Battle Alone.
      A True Temperance Story. By H. K. Shackleford.

  318 The Scouts of the Santee; or, Redcoats and Whigs.
      A Story of the American Revolution. By Gen’l Jas. A. Gordon.

  319 Edwin Forrest’s Boy Pupil;
      or, The Struggles and Triumphs of a Boy Actor.
      By N. S. Wood, the Young American Actor.

  320 Air Line Will, The Young Engineer of the New Mexico Express.
      By Jas. C. Merritt.

  321 The Richest Boy in Arizona; or, The Mystery of the Gila.
      By Howard Austin.

  322 Twenty Degrees Beyond the Arctic Circle;
      or, Deserted in the Land of Ice. By Berton Bertrew.

  323 Young King Kerry, the Irish Rob Roy;
      or, The Lost Lilly of Killarney. By Allyn Draper.

  324 Canoe Carl; or, A College Boy’s Cruise in the Far North.
      By Allan Arnold.

  325 Randy Rollins, the Boy Fireman. A Story of Heroic Deeds.
      By Ex-Fire-Chief Warden.

  326 Green Mountain Joe, the Old Trapper of Malbro Pond.
      By An Old Scout.

  327 The Prince of Rockdale School; or, A Fight for a Railroad.
      By Howard Austin.

  328 Lost in the City; or, The Lights and Shadows of New York.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  329 Switchback Sam, the Young Pennsylvania Engineer;
      or, Railroading in the Oil Country. By Jas. C. Merritt.

  330 Trapeze Tom, the Boy Acrobat; or, Daring Work in the Air.
      By Berton Bertrew.

  331 Yellowstone Kelly, A Story of Adventures in the Great West.
      By An Old Scout.

  332 The Poisoned Wine; or, Foiling a Desperate Game.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  333 Shiloh Sam; or, General Grant’s Best Boy Scout.
      By Gen’l. Jas. A. Gordon.

  334 Alone in New York; or, Ragged Rob, the Newsboy.
      By N. S. Wood (The Young American Actor).

  335 The Floating Treasure; or, The Secret of the Pirate’s Rock.
      By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

  336 Tom Throttle, The Boy Engineer of the Midnight Express;
      or, Railroading in Central America. By Jas. C. Merritt.

  337 The Diamond Eye; or, The Secret of the Idol.
      By Richard R. Montgomery.

  338 Ned North, The Young Arctic Explorer;
      or, The Phantom Valley of the North Pole. By Berton Bertrew.

  339 From Cabin to Cabinet; or, The Pluck of a Plowboy.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  340 Kit Carson’s Boys; or, With the Great Scout on His Last Trail.
      By An Old Scout.

  341 Driven to Sea; or, The Sailor’s Secret.
      A Story of the Algerine Corsairs. By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

  342 Twenty Boy Spies; or, The Secret Band of Dismal Hollow.
      A Story of the American Revolution. By Gen’l. Jas. A. Gordon.

  343 Dashing Hal, the Hero of the Ring. A Story of the Circus.
      By Berton Bertrew.

  344 The Haunted Hut; or, The Ghosts of Rocky Gulch.
      By Allyn Draper.

  345 Dick Dashaway’s School Days; or, The Boy Rebels of Kingan College.
      By Howard Austin.

  346 Jack Lever, the Young Engineer of “Old Forty”;
      or, On Time with the Night Express. By Jas. C. Merritt.

  347 Out With Peary; or, In Search of the North Pole.
      By Berton Bertrew.

  348 The Boy Prairie Courier; or, General Custer’s Youngest Aide.
      A True Story of the Battle at Little Big Horn. By An Old Scout.

  349 Led Astray in New York;
      or, A Country Boy’s Career in a Great City.
      A True Temperance Story. By Jno. B. Dowd.

  350 Sharpshooter Sam, the Yankee Boy Spy;
      or, Winning His Shoulder Straps. By Gen’l. Jas. A. Gordon.

  351 Tom Train, the Boy Engineer of the Fast Express;
      or, Always at His Post. By Jas. C. Merritt.

  352 We Three; or, The White Boy Slaves of the Soudan.
      By Allan Arnold.

  353 Jack Izzard, the Yankee Middy. A Story of the War With Tripoli.
      By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

  354 The Senator’s Boy; or, The Early Struggles of a Great Statesman.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  355 Kit Carson on a Mysterious Trail; or, Branded a Renegade.
      By An Old Scout.

  356 The Lively Eight Social Club; or, From Cider to Rum.
      A True Temperance Story. By Jno. B. Dowd.

  357 The Dandy of the School; or, The Boys of Bay Cliff.
      By Howard Austin.

  358 Out in the Streets; A Story of High and Low Life in New York.
      By N. S. Wood (The Young American Actor.)

  359 Captain Ray; The Young Leader of the Forlorn Hope.
      A True Story of the Mexican War. By Gen’l. Jas. A. Gordon.

  360 “3”; or, The Ten Treasure Houses of the Tartar King.
      By Richard R. Montgomery.

  361 Railroad Rob; or, The Train Wreckers of the West.
      By Jas. C. Merritt.

  362 A Millionaire at 18; or, The American Boy Croesus.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  363 The Seven White Bears; or, The Band of Fate. A Story of Russia.
      By Richard R. Montgomery.

  364 Shamus O’Brien; or, The Bold Boy of Glingall.
      By Allyn Draper.

  365 The Skeleton Scout; or, The Dread Rider of the Plains.
      By An Old Scout.

  366 “Merry Matt”; or, The Will-o’-the-Wisp of Wine.
      A True Temperance Story. By H. K. Shackleford.

  367 The Boy With the Steel Mask; or, A Face That Was Never Seen.
      By Allan Arnold.

  368 Clear-the-Track Tom; or, The Youngest Engineer on the Road.
      By Jas. C. Merritt.

  369 Gallant Jack Barry, The Young Father of the American Navy.
      By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

  370 Laughing Luke, The Yankee Spy of the Revolution.
      By Gen’l Jas. A. Gordon.

  371 From Gutter to Governor; or, The Luck of a Waif.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  372 Davy Crockett, Jr.; or, “Be Sure You’re Right, Then Go Ahead.”
      By An Old Scout.

  373 The Young Diamond Hunters; or, Two Runaway Boys in Treasure Land.
      A Story of the South African Mines. By Allan Arnold.

  374 The Phantom Brig; or, The Chase of the Flying Clipper.
      By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

  375 Special Bob; or, The Pride of the Road.
      By Jas. C. Merritt.

  376 Three Chums; or, The Bosses of the School.
      By Allyn Draper.

  377 The Drummer Boy’s Secret; or, Oath-Bound on the Battlefield.
      By Gen’l. Jas. A. Gordon.

  378 Jack Bradford; or, The Struggles of a Working Boy.
      By Howard Austin.

  379 The Unknown Renegade; or, The Three Great Scouts.
      By An Old Scout.

  380 80° North; or, Two Years On The Arctic Circle.
      By Berton Bertrew.

  381 Running Rob; or, Mad Anthony’s Rollicking Scout.
      A Tale of The American Revolution. By Gen. Jas. A. Gordon.

  382 Down The Shaft; or, The Hidden Fortune of a Boy Miner.
      By Howard Austin.

  383 The Boy Telegraph Inspectors;
      or, Across The Continent On A Hand Car. By Jas. C. Merritt.

  384 Nazoma; or, Lost Among The Head-Hunters.
      By Richard R. Montgomery.

  385 From Newsboy To President; or, Fighting For Fame And Fortune.
      By H. K. Shackleford.

  386 Jack Harold, The Cabin Boy; or, Ten Years On An Unlucky Ship.
      By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson.

For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt
of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by

  =FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher,      24 Union Square, New York.=


of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be
obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following
Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want
and we will send them to you by return mail.

                               =POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.      ......190
      Dear Sir--Enclosed find......cents for which please send me
 ....copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos........................................
 ....copies of PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos......................................
 ....copies of SECRET SERVICE, Nos......................................
 ....copies of THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ’76, Nos.............................
 ....copies of WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos....................................
 ....copies of THE YOUNG ATHLETE’S WEEKLY, Nos..........................
 ....copies of Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos.................................
 Name.................Street and No................Town..........State..

=These Books Tell You Everything!=


Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in
clear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cover. Most
of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects
treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that any child can
thoroughly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if
you want to know anything about the subjects mentioned.

       *       *       *       *       *

MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y.


No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.--Containing the most approved methods of
mesmerism; also how to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism,
or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S., author of “How
to Hypnotize,” etc.


No. 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.--Containing the most approved methods of
reading the lines on the hand, together with a full explanation of
their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the key for telling
character by the bumps on the head. By Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S. Fully


No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.--Containing valuable and instructive
information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the
most approved methods which are employed by the leading hypnotists of
the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.C.S.


No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH.--The most complete hunting and fishing
guide ever published. It contains full instructions about guns, hunting
dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together with descriptions of game
and fish.

No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.--Fully illustrated. Every
boy should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given
in this little book, together with instructions on swimming and riding,
companion sports to boating.

No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE.--A complete treatise on
the horse. Describing the most useful horses for business, the best
horses for the road; also valuable recipes for diseases peculiar to the

No. 48. HOW TO BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.--A handy book for boys,
containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular
manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. By C. Stansfield Hicks.


No. 1. NAPOLEON’S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK.--Containing the great
oracle of human destiny; also the true meaning of almost any kind of
dreams, together with charms, ceremonies, and curious games of cards. A
complete book.

No. 23. HOW TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.--Everybody dreams, from the little child
to the aged man and woman. This little book gives the explanation
to all kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky days, and
“Napoleon’s Oraculum,” the book of fate.

No. 28. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES.--Everyone is desirous of knowing what his
future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealth or
poverty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be
convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fortune of your friends.

No. 76. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.--Containing rules for telling
fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, or the secret of palmistry.
Also the secret of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, scars,
etc. Illustrated. By A. Anderson.


No. 6. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.--Giving full instruction for the
use of dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horizontal bars and
various other methods of developing a good, healthy muscle; containing
over sixty illustrations. Every boy can become strong and healthy by
following the instructions contained in this little book.

No. 10. HOW TO BOX.--The art of self-defense made easy. Containing over
thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the different positions of a
good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these useful and instructive
books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor.

No. 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.--Containing full instructions for all
kinds of gymnastic sports and athletic exercises. Embracing thirty-five
illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and useful book.

No. 34. HOW TO FENCE.--Containing full instruction for fencing and
the use of the broadsword; also instruction in archery. Described
with twenty-one practical illustrations, giving the best positions in
fencing. A complete book.


No. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.--Containing explanations of the
general principles of sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; of
card tricks with ordinary cards, and not requiring sleight-of-hand;
of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of specially prepared
cards. By Professor Haffner. Illustrated.

No. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.--Embracing all of the latest
and most deceptive card tricks, with illustrations. By A. Anderson.

No. 77. HOW TO DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.--Containing deceptive Card
Tricks as performed by leading conjurors and magicians. Arranged for
home amusement. Fully illustrated.


No. 2. HOW TO DO TRICKS.--The great book of magic and card tricks,
containing full instruction on all the leading card tricks of the day,
also the most popular magical illusions as performed by our leading
magicians; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, as it will both
amuse and instruct.

No. 22. HOW TO DO SECOND SIGHT.--Heller’s second sight explained by his
former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues
were carried on between the magician and the boy on the stage; also
giving all the codes and signals. The only authentic explanation of
second sight.

No. 43. HOW TO BECOME A MAGICIAN.--Containing the grandest assortment
of magical illusions ever placed before the public. Also tricks with
cards, incantations, etc.

No. 68. HOW TO DO CHEMICAL TRICKS.--Containing over one hundred
highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals. By A. Anderson.
Handsomely illustrated.

No. 69. HOW TO DO SLEIGHT OF HAND.--Containing over fifty of the latest
and best tricks used by magicians. Also containing the secret of second
sight. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson.

No. 70. HOW TO MAKE MAGIC TOYS.--Containing full directions for making
Magic Toys and devices of many kinds. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated.

No. 73. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH NUMBERS.--Showing many curious tricks
with figures and the magic of numbers. By A. Anderson. Fully

No. 75. HOW TO BECOME A CONJUROR.--Containing tricks with Dominos,
Dice, Cups and Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing thirty-six illustrations. By
A. Anderson.

No. 78. HOW TO DO THE BLACK ART.--Containing a complete description
of the mysteries of Magic and Sleight of Hand, together with many
wonderful experiments. By A. Anderson. Illustrated.


No. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR.--Every boy should know how
inventions originated. This book explains them all, giving examples in
electricity, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, mechanics, etc.
The most instructive book published.

No. 56. HOW TO BECOME AN ENGINEER.--Containing full instructions how
to proceed in order to become a locomotive engineer; also directions
for building a model locomotive; together with a full description of
everything an engineer should know.

No. 57. HOW TO MAKE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.--Full directions how to make
a Banjo, Violin, Zither, Æolian Harp, Xylophone and other musical
instruments; together with a brief description of nearly every musical
instrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By
Algernon S. Fitzgerald, for twenty years bandmaster of the Royal Bengal

No. 59. HOW TO MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN.--Containing a description of the
lantern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions
for its use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. By John

No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.--Containing complete instructions
for performing over sixty Mechanical Tricks. By A. Anderson. Fully


No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.--A most complete little book,
containing full directions for writing love-letters, and when to use
them, giving specimen letters for young and old.

No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.--Giving complete instructions
for writing letters to ladies on all subjects; also letters of
introduction, notes and requests.

No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.--Containing full directions
for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters
for instruction.

No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS.--A wonderful little book, telling you
how to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother,
employer; and, in fact, everybody and anybody you wish to write to.
Every young man and every young lady in the land should have this book.

No. 74. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS CORRECTLY.--Containing full instructions
for writing letters on almost any subject; also rules for punctuation
and composition, with specimen letters.


No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN’S JOKE BOOK.--Containing a great
variety of the latest jokes used by the most famous end men. No amateur
minstrel is complete without this wonderful little book.

No. 42. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER.--Containing a varied
assortment of stump speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also end men’s
jokes. Just the thing for home amusement and amateur shows.

new and very instructive. Every boy should obtain this book, as it
contains full instructions for organizing an amateur minstrel troupe.

No. 65. MULDOON’S JOKES.--This is one of the most original joke books
ever published, and it is brimful of wit and humor. It contains a large
collection of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc., of Terrence Muldoon, the
great wit, humorist, and practical joker of the day. Every boy who can
enjoy a good substantial joke should obtain a copy immediately.

No. 79. HOW TO BECOME AN ACTOR.--Containing complete instructions how
to make up for various characters on the stage; together with the
duties of the Stage Manager, Prompter, Scenic Artist and Property Man.
By a prominent Stage Manager.

No. 80. GUS WILLIAMS’ JOKE BOOK.--Containing the latest jokes, anecdotes
and funny stories of this world-renowned and ever popular German
comedian. Sixty-four pages; handsome colored cover containing a
half-tone photo of the author.


No. 16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN.--Containing full instructions
for constructing a window garden either in town or country, and the
most approved methods for raising beautiful flowers at home. The most
complete book of the kind ever published.

No. 30. HOW TO COOK.--One of the most instructive books on cooking
ever published. It contains recipes for cooking meats, fish, game, and
oysters; also pies, puddings, cakes and all kinds of pastry, and a
grand collection of recipes by one of our most popular cooks.

No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSE.--It contains information for everybody,
boys, girls, men and women; it will teach you how to make almost
anything around the house, such as parlor ornaments, brackets, cements,
Æolian harps, and bird lime for catching birds.


No. 46. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECTRICITY.--A description of the
wonderful uses of electricity and electro magnetism; together with
full instructions for making Electric Toys, Batteries, etc. By George
Trebel, A. M., M. D. Containing over fifty illustrations.

No. 64. HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL MACHINES.--Containing full directions
for making electrical machines, induction coils, dynamos, and many
novel toys to be worked by electricity. By R. A. R. Bennett. Fully

No. 67. HOW TO DO ELECTRICAL TRICKS.--Containing a large collection
of instructive and highly amusing electrical tricks, together with
illustrations. By A. Anderson.


No. 9. HOW TO BECOME A VENTRILOQUIST.--By Harry Kennedy. The secret
given away. Every intelligent boy reading this book of instructions,
by a practical professor (delighting multitudes every night with his
wonderful imitations), can master the art, and create any amount of fun
for himself and friends. It is the greatest book ever published, and
there’s millions (of fun) in it.

No. 20. HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY.--A very valuable little
book just published. A complete compendium of games, sports,
card diversions, comic recitations, etc., suitable for parlor or
drawing-room entertainment. It contains more for the money than any
book published.

No. 35. HOW TO PLAY GAMES.--A complete and useful little book,
containing the rules and regulations of billiards, bagatelle,
backgammon, croquet, dominoes, etc.

No. 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONUNDRUMS.--Containing all the leading conundrums
of the day, amusing riddles, curious catches and witty sayings.

No. 52. HOW TO PLAY CARDS.--A complete and handy little book, giving
the rules and full directions for playing Euchre, Cribbage, Casino,
Forty-Five, Rounce, Pedro Sancho, Draw Poker, Auction Pitch, All Fours,
and many other popular games of cards.

No. 66. HOW TO DO PUZZLES.--Containing over three hundred interesting
puzzles and conundrums, with key to same. A complete book. Fully
illustrated. By A. Anderson.


No. 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.--It is a great life
secret, and one that every young man desires to know all about. There’s
happiness in it.

No. 33. HOW TO BEHAVE.--Containing the rules and etiquette of good
society and the easiest and most approved methods of appearing to
good advantage at parties, balls, the theatre, church, and in the


No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECITATIONS.--Containing the most
popular selections in use, comprising Dutch dialect, French dialect,
Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together with many standard readings.

No. 31. HOW TO BECOME A SPEAKER.--Containing fourteen illustrations,
giving the different positions requisite to become a good speaker,
reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems from all the popular
authors of prose and poetry, arranged in the most simple and concise
manner possible.

No. 49. HOW TO DEBATE.--Giving rules for conducting debates, outlines
for debates, questions for discussion, and the best sources for
procuring information on the questions given.


No. 3. HOW TO FLIRT.--The arts and wiles of flirtation are fully
explained by this little book. Besides the various methods of
handkerchief, fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation, it
contains a full list of the language and sentiment of flowers, which
is interesting to everybody, both old and young. You cannot be happy
without one.

No. 4. HOW TO DANCE is the title of a new and handsome little book just
issued by Frank Tousey. It contains full instructions in the art of
dancing, etiquette in the ball-room and at parties, how to dress, and
full directions for calling off in all popular square dances.

No. 5. HOW TO MAKE LOVE.--A complete guide to love, courtship and
marriage, giving sensible advice, rules and etiquette to be observed,
with many curious and interesting things not generally known.

No. 17. HOW TO DRESS.--Containing full instruction in the art of
dressing and appearing well at home and abroad, giving the selections
of colors, material, and how to have them made up.

No. 18. HOW TO BECOME BEAUTIFUL.--One of the brightest and most
valuable little books ever given to the world. Everybody wishes to know
how to become beautiful, both male and female. The secret is simple,
and almost costless. Read this book and be convinced how to become


No. 7. HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.--Handsomely illustrated and containing
full instructions for the management and training of the canary,
mockingbird, bobolink, blackbird, paroquet, parrot, etc.

instructive book. Handsomely illustrated. By Ira Drofraw.

No. 40. HOW TO MAKE AND SET TRAPS.--Including hints on how to catch
moles, weasels, otters, rats, squirrels and birds. Also how to cure
skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. Harrington Keene.

No. 50. HOW TO STUFF BIRDS AND ANIMALS.--A valuable book, giving
instructions in collecting, preparing, mounting and preserving birds,
animals and insects.

No. 54. HOW TO KEEP AND MANAGE PETS.--Giving complete information as
to the manner and method of raising, keeping, taming, breeding, and
managing all kinds of pets; also giving full instructions for making
cages, etc. Fully explained by twenty-eight illustrations, making it
the most complete book of the kind ever published.


No. 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIENTIST.--A useful and instructive book,
giving a complete treatise on chemistry; also experiments in acoustics,
mechanics, mathematics, chemistry, and directions for making fireworks,
colored fires, and gas balloons. This book cannot be equaled.

No. 14. HOW TO MAKE CANDY.--A complete hand-book for making all kinds
of candy, ice-cream, syrups, essences, etc., etc.

No. 34. HOW TO BECOME AN AUTHOR.--Containing full information
regarding choice of subjects, the use of words and the manner of
preparing and submitting manuscript. Also containing valuable
information as to the neatness, legibility and general composition of
manuscript, essential to a successful author. By Prince Hiland.

No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN DOCTOR.--A wonderful book, containing
useful and practical information in the treatment of ordinary diseases
and ailments common to every family. Abounding in useful and effective
recipes for general complaints.

No. 55. HOW TO COLLECT STAMPS AND COINS.--Containing valuable
information regarding the collecting and arranging of stamps and coins.
Handsomely illustrated.

No. 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE.--By Old King Brady, the world-known
detective. In which he lays down some valuable and sensible rules
for beginners, and also relates some adventures and experiences of
well-known detectives.

No. 60. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER.--Containing useful information
regarding the Camera and how to work it; also how to make Photographic
Magic Lantern Slides and other Transparencies. Handsomely illustrated.
By Captain W. De W. Abney.

explanations how to gain admittance, course of Study, Examinations,
Duties, Staff of Officers, Post Guard, Police Regulations, Fire
Department, and all a boy should know to be a Cadet. Compiled and
written by Lu Senarens, author of “How to Become a Naval Cadet.”

No. 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL CADET.--Complete instructions of how to
gain admission to the Annapolis Naval Academy. Also containing the
course of instruction, description of grounds and buildings, historical
sketch, and everything a boy should know to become an officer in the
United States Navy. Compiled and written by Lu Senarens, author of “How
to Become a West Point Military Cadet.”

  =Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.=


The Best Weekly Published.




  281 Fred Fearnot’s Boy; or, Selling Tips on Shares.
  282 Fred Fearnot and the Girl Ranch Owner, And How She Held Her Own.
  283 Fred Fearnot’s Newsboy Friend; or, A Hero in Rags.
  284 Fred Fearnot in the Gold Fields; or, Exposing the Claim “Salters.”
  285 Fred Fearnot and the Office Boy; or, Bound to be the Boss.
  286 Fred Fearnot after the Moonshiners; or, The “Bad” Men of Kentucky.
  287 Fred Fearnot and the Little Drummer;
      or, The Boy who Feared Nobody.
  288 Fred Fearnot and the Broker’s Boy; or, Working the Stock Market.
  289 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Teamster; or, The Lad Who Bluffed Him.
  290 Fred Fearnot and the Magician, and How he Spoiled His Magic.
  291 Fred Fearnot’s Lone Hand; or, Playing a Game to Win.
  292 Fred Fearnot and the Banker’s Clerk; or, Shaking up the Brokers.
  293 Fred Fearnot and the Oil King; or, the Tough Gang of the Wells.
  294 Fred Fearnot’s Wall Street Game; or, Fighting the Bucket Shops.
  295 Fred Fearnot’s Society Circus;
      or, The Fun that Built a School-House.
  296 Fred Fearnot’s Wonderful Courage;
      or, The Mistake of the Train Robber.
  297 Fred Fearnot’s Friend from India, and the Wonderful Things He Did.
  298 Fred Fearnot and the Poor Widow; or, Making a Mean Man Do Right.
  299 Fred Fearnot’s Cowboys; or, Tackling the Ranch Raiders.
  300 Fred Fearnot and the Money Lenders;
      or, Breaking Up a Swindling Gang.
  301 Fred Fearnot’s Gun Club; or, Shooting for a Diamond Cup.
  302 Fred Fearnot and the Braggart; or, Having Fun with an Egotist.
  303 Fred Fearnot’s Fire Brigade; or, Beating the Insurance Frauds.
  304 Fred Fearnot’s Temperance Lectures; or, Fighting Rum and Ruin.
  305 Fred Fearnot and the “Cattle Queen”; or, A Desperate Woman’s Game.
  306 Fred Fearnot and the Boomers; or, The Game that Failed.
  307 Fred Fearnot and the “Tough” Boy; or, Reforming a Vagrant.
  308 Fred Fearnot’s $10,000 Deal; or, Over the Continent on Horseback.
  309 Fred Fearnot and the Lasso Gang; or, Crooked Work on the Ranch.
  310 Fred Fearnot and the Wall Street Broker;
      or, Helping the Widows and Orphans.
  311 Fred Fearnot and the Cow Puncher; or, The Worst Man in Arizona.
  312 Fred Fearnot and the Fortune Teller; or, The Gypsy’s Double Deal.
  313 Fred Fearnot’s Nervy Deal; or, The Unknown Fiend of Wall Street.
  314 Fred Fearnot and “Red Pete”; or, The Wickedest Man in Arizona.
  315 Fred Fearnot and the Magnates; or, How he Bought a Railroad.
  316 Fred Fearnot and “Uncle Pike”; or, A Slick Chap from Warsaw.
  317 Fred Fearnot and His Hindo Friend; or, Saving the Juggler’s Life.
  318 Fred Fearnot and the “Confidence Man”;
      or, The Grip that Held Him Fast.
  319 Fred Fearnot’s Greatest Victory;
      or, The Longest Purse in Wall Street.
  320 Fred Fearnot and the Impostor; or, Unmasking a Dangerous Fraud.
  321 Fred Fearnot in the Wild West; or, The Last Fight of the Bandits.
  322 Fred Fearnot and the Girl Detective;
      or, Solving a Wall Street Mystery.
  323 Fred Fearnot Among the Gold Miners;
      or, The Fight for a Stolen Claim.
  324 Fred Fearnot and the Broker’s Son;
      or, The Smartest Boy in Wall St.
  325 Fred Fearnot and “Judge Lynch”; or, Chasing the Horse Thieves.
  326 Fred Fearnot and the Bank Messenger;
      or, The Boy who made a Fortune.
  327 Fred Fearnot and the Kentucky Moonshiners;
      or, The “Bad” Men of the Blue Grass Region.
  328 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Acrobat; or, Out With His own Circus.
  329 Fred Fearnot’s Great Crash; or, Losing His Fortune in Wall Street.
  330 Fred Fearnot’s Return to Athletics;
      or, His Start to Regain a Fortune.
  331 Fred Fearnot’s Fencing Team; or, Defeating the “Pride of Old Eli.”
  332 Fred Fearnot’s “Free For All”; or, His Great Indoor Meet.
  333 Fred Fearnot and the Cabin Boy;
      or, Beating the Steamboat Sharpers.
  334 Fred Fearnot and the Prize-Fighter;
      or, A Pugilist’s Awful Mistake.
  335 Fred Fearnot’s Office Boy; or, Making Money in Wall Street.
  336 Fred Fearnot as a Fireman; or, The Boy Hero of the Flames.
  337 Fred Fearnot and the Factory Boy; or, The Champion of the Town.
  338 Fred Fearnot and the “Bad Man”; or, The Bluff from Bitter Creek.
  339 Fred Fearnot and the Shop Girl; or, The Plot Against An Orphan.
  340 Fred Fearnot Among the Mexicans; or, Evelyn and the Brigands.
  341 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Engineer; or, Beating the Train Wreckers.
  342 Fred Fearnot and the “Hornets”;
      or, The League that Sought to Down Him.
  343 Fred Fearnot and the Cheeky Dude;
      or, A Shallow Youth from Brooklyn.
  344 Fred Fearnot in a Death Trap: or, Lost in The Mammoth Caves.
  345 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Rancher; or, The Gamest Lad in Texas.
  346 Fred Fearnot and the Stage Driver;
      or, The Man Who Understood Horses.
  347 Fred Fearnot’s Change of Front;
      or, Staggering the Wall Street Brokers.
  348 Fred Fearnot’s New Ranch, And How He and Terry Managed It.
  349 Fred Fearnot and the Lariat Thrower;
      or, Beating the Champion of the West.
  350 Fred Fearnot and the Swindling Trustee;
      or, Saving a Widow’s Little Fortune.
  351 Fred Fearnot and the “Wild” Cowboys, And the Fun He Had With Them.
  352 Fred Fearnot and the “Money Queen”; or, Exposing a Female Sharper.
  353 Fred Fearnot’s Boy Pard; or, Striking it Rich in the Hills.
  354 Fred Fearnot and the Railroad Gang;
      or, A Desperate Fight for Life.
  355 Fred Fearnot and the Mad Miner;
      or, The Gold Thieves of the Rockies.
  356 Fred Fearnot in Trouble; or, Terry Olcott’s Vow of Vengeance.
  357 Fred Fearnot and the Girl in White;
      or, The Mystery of the Steamboat.
  358 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Herder;
      or, The Masked Band of the Plains.
  359 Fred Fearnot in Hard Luck; or, Roughing it in the Silver Diggings.
  360 Fred Fearnot and the Indian Guide;
      or, The Abduction of a Beautiful Girl.

  For sale by all newsdealers,
  or will be sent to any address on receipt of price,
  5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by
  =FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.=


of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be
obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following
Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and
we will send them to you by return mail.



 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.      ......190
       Dear Sir--Enclosed find......cents for which please send me:
 ....copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos........................................
 ....copies of PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos......................................
 ....copies of SECRET SERVICE, Nos......................................
 ....copies of THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ’76, Nos.............................
 ....copies of WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos....................................
 ....copies of THE YOUNG ATHLETE’S WEEKLY, Nos..........................
 ....copies of Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos.................................
 Name.................Street and No................Town..........State..

Fame and Fortune Weekly



  _32 Pages of Reading Matter_      _Handsome Colored Covers_

  ☛ =A New One Issued Every Friday= ☚

This Weekly contains interesting stories of smart boys, who win
fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of passing
opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents
in the lives of our most successful self-made men, and show how a
boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy.
Every one of this series contains a good moral tone, which makes “Fame
and Fortune Weekly” a magazine for the home, although each number
is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best
obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists, and every effort
is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the news stands.
Tell your friends about it.


  No. 1.--A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy in Wall Street
          Issued Oct.  6th
  No. 2.--Born to Good Luck; or, The Boy Who Succeeded
          Issued Oct. 13th
  No. 3.--A Corner in Corn; or, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick
          Issued Oct. 20th
  No. 4.--A Game of Chance; or, The Boy Who Won Out
          Issued Oct. 27th
  No. 5.--Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Street
          Issued Nov.  3rd
  No. 6.--Building a Railroad; or, The Young Contractors of Lakeview
          Issued Nov. 10th
  No. 7.--Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River
          Issued Nov. 17th
  No. 8.--The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy
          Issued Nov. 24th

 For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt
 of price, 5 cents per copy in money or postage stamps, by

  =FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher  24 Union Square, New York=


of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be
obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following
Order Blank and send in to us with the price of the books you want and
we will send them to you by return mail.

                               =POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=


 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.      ......190
       Dear Sir--Enclosed find......cents for which please send me:
 ....copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos........................................
 ....copies of FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos.............................
 ....copies of FRANK MANLEY’S WEEKLY, Nos...............................
 ....copies of WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos....................................
 ....copies of THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ’76, Nos.............................
 ....copies of PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos......................................
 ....copies of SECRET SERVICE, Nos......................................
 ....copies of YOUNG ATHLETE’S WEEKLY, Nos..............................
 ....copies of TEN-CENT HANDBOOKS, Nos..................................
 Name.................Street and No................Town..........State..

Transcriber’s Notes

A number of typographical errors were corrected silently.

Cover image is in the public domain.

Dittoes replaced with words meant to be duplicated.

The third Walcott in the text was changed from Whitemore due to context.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A corner in corn; or How a Chicago boy did the trick: Fame and Fortune Weekly, No. 3, October 20, 1905" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files. We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's search system for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.